William and Mary travelled to Harrisonburg, Virginia to take on Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison Satuday Nov. 2. Showing grit and resilience, the Tribe (6-8-2, 4-3-1 CAA) was able to defeat the No. 21 Dukes (10-6-2, 5-2-1 CAA) in a thrilling 3-2 upset to close out the regular season.
Though the Dukes and the Tribe were scoreless in the first half, play remained highly competitive. In the 65th minute, the Dukes were awarded a penalty kick; Dukes midfielder Manuel Ferriol — ranked among the top-five players nationally in points and goals — converted the penalty into a goal, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
However, just 16 seconds after the Dukes goal, senior midfielder Julian Ngoh was able to sneak a spot kick past Dukes goalkeeper T.J. Busch, bringing the score to an even 1-1.
Not to be outdone so quickly, the Dukes took back the lead in the 69th minute. Through a combination pass on the right side, Dukes midfielder Petur Thorsteinsson sent a shot on frame that was able to catch a deflection and lift up over the top of Tribe freshman goalkeeper Kieran Baskett to give the Dukes their 2-1 lead.
Continuing the trend of mirrored actions, the Tribe was likewise able to benefit from a deflected goal just two minutes later when sophomore midfielder John Eberle squared a pass to freshman forward Alexander Levengood inside the top of the 18. Levengood’s shot toward the post bounced off a defender and into the middle of the goal, bringing the game squarely to a 2-2 tie.
Ushering the highly contested match to a close after six exciting minutes of scoring from both sides, redshirt freshman Theo Biddle was able to send a corner kick into the goal in the 88th minute to give the Tribe its first road win against a nationally-ranked team since 2013 when it defeated No. 1 North Carolina. Notably, the game winner was also Biddle’s first collegiate goal.
After Ngoh had earned a corner kick, freshman midfielder Alfredo Bozalongo sent the set piece through to the penalty area, where Biddle was able to elevate the ball right past the post to give the Tribe the win.
Tribe head coach Chris Norris remarked positively to the Tribe’s first regular-season win at James Madison since 2010.
“We are really happy with the performance tonight,” Norris said. “The guys were focused, played hard and were sharp overall. We showed a lot of fight as well, after going behind twice. It’s a good way to finish the regular season.”
Most notably as a result of this match, the College finished fourth in the CAA standings and will head to Wilmington, North Carolina to face No. 5-seed Northeastern Friday, Nov. 8. The victor of that match will face top seed and regular season CAA champion North Carolina-Wilmington Nov. 10.