TRIBE 2, HOFSTRA 3
The College of William and Mary didn’t give its CAA semifinal match away Friday night. The senior-dominated Tribe (14-6-1) squad had no intention of giving away a chance to advance to the CAA finals on its home field.
The College’s 3-2 loss to Hofstra University (11-7-3) was due to the Tribe’s inability to connect on offense and defense, especially in the second half.
The Tribe failed to mount a serious offensive attack after senior forward Claire Zimmeck’s goal in the 52nd minute. In the midfield, the College’s possessions consisted of two passes before turning the ball over. Defensively, the Tribe was beat repeatedly on one-on-ones and allowed two Hofstra goals in a three-minute span in the second half.
“We picked the wrong night to turn in our worst 45 minutes of the season,” Head Coach John Daly said.
The first 45 minutes did not go so badly for the Tribe. Sophomore midfielder Brittany Lane started the scoring in the eighth minute when she cleaned up a cross from Zimmeck, which was intended for senior midfielder Dani Collins on the right side. Lane sent the ball low into the back post of the net for the first goal of her career.
The Pride equaled the score in the 28th minute when forward Salma Tarik received a cross from forward Edel Malone and sent it past goalkeeper Meaghan Walker.
But the College took back the lead early in the second half, when Zimmeck took a pass from junior midfielder Krissy Vornadore on the right side, beat one defender and blasted a shot into the back post. It was Zimmeck’s team-leading 13th goal of the season, and the highpoint of the match for the Tribe.
Seven minutes later, however, Hofstra defender Jess Crankshaw collected a ball 30 yards from the goal, dribbled in unimpeded and drove a shot into the net from 20 yards out to equalize the score. Less than three minutes later, Hofstra midfielder Tiffany Tovino connected on the game-winner on a cross from forward Edel Malone to put the Pride up 3-2.
Hofstra’s goal forced the College to play catch-up for the rest of the match. If the Tribe wasn’t chasing the Hofstra slow-down attack around the field, it was launching ill-advised passes which failed to connect with teammates.
“I think it was that players weren’t committing forward to give options to players in the middle of the field,” Daly said. “Therefore, whenever we got the ball in the back, we just weren’t providing enough options and the players weren’t getting forward and we were giving it away.”