William and Mary travelled to High Point, North Carolina to face off against High Point Aug. 30. The College (0-1) ultimately dropped the match against the Panthers (1-0) 2-1.
The Tribe struggled offensively in this match against the Panthers, who had earned an at-large bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament last season after having won its second-straight Big South regular season championship. Senior midfielder Reeves Trott was prevented from attaining his hopeful opening half goal after a successful save by Panthers goalkeeper Keegan Meyer in the 29th minute.
Subsequently, the Panthers were able to score their first goal in the 36th minute when midfielder Ryan Inman served the ball from the right and booted it directly to forward Siggi Benonysson, who was able to shoot it into the left side of the frame to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Entering the second half, it looked as if though the College would make a comeback, but ultimately this didn’t pan out and the Panthers pushed ahead, doubling the lead in the 54th minute. Panther forward Ilias Kosmidis attempted to send a through ball to forward Jordan Lonchar, but this was ultimately deflected by Tribe freshman goalkeeper Kieran Baskett. Lonchar followed up on the rebound and shot the ball into the goal unassisted, bringing the Panthers to 2-0.
Later in the second half, the College had a few chances to attempt to even the score. Junior back Sam Golan attempted a header, which flew just wide of the post off a free kick. Ultimately, it was freshman forward Alexander Levengood who earned the Tribe’s sole goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Though the College lost its opening game, head coach Chris Norris remains optimistic for the season.
“We are happy with the performance, but disappointed with the result,” Norris said. “We competed well on the road against a good High Point team. I am very encouraged and confident that we will grow from this. We look forward to Tuesday at home.”
For the freshmen, this game was an important beginning to their collegiate careers, with Baskett and Levengood having earned their keeps thus far.
The College will open a four-match homestead when Villanova visits Martin Family Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, for a 7 p.m. kickoff.