William and Mary (4-7-2, 2-2-1 CAA) lost 3-1 to Hofstra (6-6-1, 3-2-1 CAA) Saturday night at Martin Family Stadium in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup. The loss extended the Tribe’s losing streak to three-straight.
The Pride got off to a strong start and went ahead in the 21st minute. Pride midfielder George O’Malley sent a cross across the face of the goal. His service was deflected into the goal by a diving header from midfielder Stefan Mason.
The College went into the halftime break a goal down. However, the beginning of the second half saw a momentum shift in favor of the Tribe. Thirteen minutes into the period, senior winger Julian Ngoh found an equalizer for the College. Freshman midfielder Marcus Villeda fired a pass to fellow freshman midfielder Nathan Messer, who subsequently flicked the ball first-time into the path of Ngoh. He burst into the penalty box and finished a low shot into the bottom right side of the goal. The goal was Ngoh’s third of the season and moved him to second in goals scored for the Tribe thus far.
The Tribe’s offensive push did not end there — it produced several additional scoring opportunities over the following 10 minutes. Freshman midfielder Alfredo Bozalongo’s free kick in the 60th minute forced a leaping save out of Pride goalkeeper Alex Ashton. The resulting corner kick saw another opportunity for the Tribe. Ngoh flicked a header to the near post that was also saved by Ashton.
In the 67th minute, freshman striker Diba Nwegbo won the ball in the Tribe’s attacking half and charged toward goal. He slipped a pass to Messer in the penalty area, but his attempt sailed over the crossbar.
The College came to rue its missed opportunities when the Pride pulled ahead in the 80th minute. Pride midfielder Lennart Seufert saw his long-range effort ricochet off the post, but midfielder Jesse Schleeper pounced on the rebound and turned the ball in from short distance.
Just five minutes after the Pride had gone ahead, they sealed the win through midfielder Petter Soelberg’s goal. Pride midfielder Storm Strongin’s cross was deflected right to the feet of Soelberg. He smashed the ball home to put the nail in the coffin for the Tribe.
After fighting to level the score and then having several more chances, a lapse in the last 10 minutes cost the College the game. Tribe head coach Chris Norris wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort.
“I’m disappointed with our overall performance tonight,” Norris said. “I think this was a good opportunity for us to try to create some separation … and put one foot in the conference tournament possibly, and we didn’t have the kind of performance we wanted tonight. Hofstra’s a difficult opponent ... they’re always going to make sure they’re putting balls in you defensive third, and we didn’t deal with that particularly well.”
The Tribe face another CAA foe Tuesday night. It will host Delaware in their final home game of the regular season.