William and Mary was knocked out of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 2-1 semifinal loss to North Carolina-Wilmington Sunday, Nov. 10.
The match got off to a quick start with the Seahawks creating plenty of chances early on. In just the 2nd minute, Seahawks midfielder Cannon Tootle burst into the penalty area and hit a low shot towards goal. Tribe freshman goalkeeper Kieran Baskett dove to his right to save the effort. Baskett would make another save just minutes later, this time on midfielder Colton Pleasants. Pleasants found himself in a one-on-one situation with Baskett, but Baskett was able to parry the shot with a kick save from his left leg. The Seahawks eventually broke through with a penalty goal by defender Danny Reynolds. Tribe freshman defender Theo Biddle committed a foul in the penalty box on Tootle in the 11th minute to concede a penalty kick. On the penalty, Baskett dove the right way, but Reynolds’ placement and power were too much to handle, and the Seahawks went ahead 1-0.
The Seahawks continued to bother the College’s defense, peppering Baskett with more shots. Pleasants had another effort in the 18th minute, this time from far outside the box, that was saved by Baskett. Seahawks striker Gabriel Cabral came close to doubling his side’s advantage when he ran onto the end of a through ball in the box. His shot went through the legs of Baskett but escaped just past the left of the post.
The Tribe equalized against the run of play, scoring in the 23rd minute through a strike by freshman midfielder Alexander Levengood. Sophomore midfielder John Eberle collected a ball on the right wing off a long pass from the back. He slipped it to Levengood in the box, who finished on the first kick, levelling the game at one goal apiece. The goal was Levengood’s seventh of the season.
Momentum swung in favor of the College at the start of the second half. Levengood was again the cause of the threat, producing a header effort off a cross from senior winger Julian Ngoh. His effort was saved by Seahawks goalkeeper Gabriel Perotta as he dove low to his left to touch the header out of bounds. Several minutes later, in the 63rd minute, Perotta produced another crucial save. Junior defender Sam Golan connected with a corner kick, but his header towards the top left corner of the goal was saved by Perotta.
Two minutes later, the Seahawks broke the deadlock with what proved to be the game-winning goal. Striker Phillip Goodrum received a centering pass in the box and took a low shot across the face of goal. His effort slipped just underneath the arms of Baskett, and the Seahawks went ahead 2-1. The result held, and the Tribe was ultimately defeated despite the contest being very close throughout.
The Seahawks will go on to face James Madison in the CAA final. The winner of that match will automatically qualify for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament as champions of the conference.