The first half was winding down with both Villanova and William and Mary having nothing to show for their respective efforts except a large zero on the scoreboard, until a cross from Wildcats forward Lyam Mackinnon found midfielder Marcus Brenes at the corner of the 18-yard box. Brenes paused for the briefest of seconds before neatly bending a long, arcing shot just inside the far post. The Wildcats’ lone goal was the difference in the match, in which the Wildcats (2-0) topped the Tribe (0-2) 1-0.
Even discounting the goal, the Wildcats dominated the first half. The Tribe was outshot 10-2 in the stanza, a lopsided margin. The Tribe was similarly outshined in possession during the half, controlling the ball for a mere 37 percent of the game, compared to 63 percent for the Wildcats.
However, play improved in the second half, with the Tribe controlling the ball 47 percent of the time, nearly matching the Wildcats. Five corner kicks also provided opportunities for the Tribe to take a 5-4 advantage in shots during the second half.
The closest call for the Wildcats came in the 66th minute, when the Tribe’s senior midfielder Julian Ngoh went head to head against Wildcats goalkeeper Carson Williams at the mouth of the goal. Though Williams came up with the save, the rebound went straight to freshman forward Diba Nwegbo. Williams recovered in time to block a wide shot by Nwegbo though, and the Tribe’s best chance at tying things up was snuffed out.
The Tribe will continue its stretch of home games, facing Delaware in the first Colonial Athletic Association game of the season Friday, Sept. 6.