Men’s Soccer: Tribe rides stellar second half to 5-1 beatdown of Delaware

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JAMIE HOLT / THE FLAT HAT

William and Mary defeated Delaware 5-1 in the regular-season home finale at Martin Family Stadium Tuesday, Oct. 22. Hosting a make-up match of an early September game that was postponed due to Hurricane Dorian, the Tribe (5-7-2, 3-2-1 CAA) entered after a 3-1 loss against Hofstra on Saturday, its third loss in a row. Meanwhile, the Blue Hens (2-7-3, 1-3-2 CAA) arrived after a 3-2 loss against Holy Cross on Wednesday, also its third loss in a row. Both teams tried to reverse their losing streaks, but the Tribe emerged victorious after scoring four-straight goals during an explosive second half. 

The Tribe began the game with possession of the ball, controlling much of the play throughout the first half but finding trouble scoring. The College had two promising corner kicks in the first 10 minutes of the game, but all their shots from the middle went off target. Freshman forward Diba Nwegbo scored the first goal of the game in the 12th minute, but his would be the only goal scored by the Tribe in the first half. Although they found few shooting opportunities, the Blue Hens scored in the 34th minute when defender Timo Hummrich converted on a corner kick. 

During the first half, the Tribe attempted eight shots and two shots on goal, while the Blue Hens managed only three shot attempts and one shot on goal. But at the end of the first half, the Tribe saw the score tied at 1-1. 

After the first half, the Tribe took the lead against the Blue Hens, scoring four goals and attempting 11 shots in the second half. The Blue Hens started the second half with possession of the ball, but the Tribe quickly regained control and retained it throughout much of the period. During the second half, the Blue Hens only had three shot attempts and no shots on goal. 

Senior forward Julian Ngoh, who scored two goals, began his offensive run early into the second half, making two shot attempts within the first five minutes. Senior back Tanner Shane scored the first goal of the second half in the 54th minute, with a corner-kick assist by freshman midfielder Alfredo Bonzalongo. Sophomore midfielder John Eberle then scored the second goal only 40 seconds later, with another assist by Bonzalongo, after the referees called a yellow card on Blue Hens defender Hummrich. 

Ngoh scored the third and fourth goals of the second half in the 71st and 75th minutes, respectively. Approaching the goal for the second time in five minutes, Ngoh faked around the Blue Hens defender, dribbled the ball up, and launched it into the net. 

Ngoh said he credited his goals to the team’s persistence in the second half. 

“We just kept pressing them,” Ngoh said. “I got into a good spot, was able to keep my composure, go around the defender, and have a good finish. But I think more so it was just the team was playing so much better. We were getting better chances in the second half, we were more clinical, so I just felt … if I kept working, if I kept making the runs, the goals would come.” 

Bonzalongo, who gave Ngoh the assist on his second goal, recorded the Colonial Athletic Association’s first three-assist match of the year. Ngoh’s goals sealed the 5-1 victory for the Tribe over the Blue Hens. 

Head coach Chris Norris said he attributed the Tribe’s win to its sharpshooting on goal in the second half.  

“The biggest thing, I think, that we did differently in the second half from the first half was we put our shots on target,” Norris said. “At halftime, we talked about trying to get past the fact that we were disappointed that we hadn’t scored more goals, that we’d given away a lead, and that we were even in a game that we felt like we were fairly dominant in.” 

Norris added in some praise for Ngoh’s effort.  

“It was great to see Julian start to score some goals again,” Norris said. “We haven’t been a prolific goal-scoring team this year, so we’re going to need him to be hot at the important end of the season here.” 

After Tuesday’s win, the Tribe’s record rose to 5-7-2. Next, the College will face Northeastern Saturday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m. in Boston.