Men’s Soccer: Tribe opens season with comeback thriller

College of William and Mary sophomore back Nicholas Orozco redeemed himself Saturday night.

Just 15 minutes into the match, Orozco committed a costly foul in the box, handing the University of North Carolina—Greensboro a penalty kick and in turn the lead. But with the game tied 1-1 and time running out, Orozco gathered a loose ball and rifled it past the Spartans’ keeper Chad Janda to give the College a 2-1 victory.

His shot sent the fourth-largest crowd in Albert-Daly Field history of 742 people into euphoria.

“It was a great ball [from junior back Roger Bothe]. The keeper was out of position. He tipped it right to me and I finished it off.” Orozco said. “It was great since I allowed the penalty kick. It was nice to get a little redemption there.”

Bothe initiated the scoring play, launching an indirect kick from about 30 yards out to junior forward Andrew Hoxie, who headed it toward the goal and forced the Spartan keeper Janda to make a sprawling save. Janda could not control the ball, allowing a charging Orozco to scorch the rebound past him in the 88th

“By no means was it a performance that we were thrilled with,” Head Coach Chris Norris said. “It was a decent performance; it was a good win at home. We definitely know that there are some things we have to improve on before next weekend.”

After the Spartans opened the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 15th minute, the College played aggressively, leading to a goal when Hoxie converted a penalty kick in the 42nd minute.

Hoxie’s goal began with a crafty give-and-go flip between himself and Bothe, which saw Bothe tackled in the box and gave Hoxie a chance for a penalty kick goal. He converted the penalty kick, burying the ball into the lower left part of the net and tying the score at 1-1 with 3:17 left in the first half.

“The penalty [shot] was really timely; it was a good combination,” Norris said. “We really encourage our outside backs to get forward and get involved in the attack. To get an outside back forward to where he was fouled in the box was great.”

A physical second half saw two yellow cards and numerous fouls, but the College kept at it offensively and broke through late with the help of an unexpected lift from Orozco.

The Tribe dominated offensively recording 17 shots to the Spartan’s four, while UNCG took three corner kicks to the College’s two.

“We had a lot of shots which is excellent,” Hoxie said. “We need to have a higher percentage of goals.”

Hoxie’s goal was his first since 2006, when the he registered 10 goals and was an All-CAA forward. After redshirting last season, Hoxie’s goal and an assist validated his return to the lineup.

The College has a week to prepare for its match against Campbell University Saturday at 7 p.m. at Albert-Daly Field.


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