William and Mary (6-2) should have George Mason pretty well scouted by now. On an unremarkable weekend, getting an extra chance to scout a CAA foe while picking up two wins is always a plus.
Although the team did not face the host Patriots, the Tribe took both matches it played in the George Mason Tournament over the weekend, defeating Cornell 1-0 Friday and besting Long Island 1-0 Sunday afternoon.
“You always take two wins on the road, both of them on a neutral rather than away sight,” Head Coach John Daly said. “We did not play well on Friday, but we managed to eke out the win. We played much better [Sunday] and probably should have scored earlier.”
Senior forward Krissy Vornadore scored the game winner Friday night against Cornell, playing a cross from freshman midfielder Katrina Smedley inside the right post for her first goal of the season. The Tribe outshot the Big Red 14-11 for the match but was unable to find the back of the net the rest of the night.
“Katrina Smedley was outstanding. She really controlled things in the middle of the field, and I thought she used the ball very well,” Daly said.
In its second match of the tournament, the Tribe had to wait until the 82nd minute for a goal, using a strike from senior forward Kellie Jenkins to put away Long Island.
A foul on the Blackbirds gave the Tribe a free kick outside the 18-yard box that junior defender Kaitlin O’Connor played to Jenkins who beat her defender and slotted the ball inside the right post for her third goal of the season.
“We probably should have scored earlier than we did which made it tense right until the end,” Daly said. “But when we did score, it was a very good goal.”
The George Mason Tournament was their last non-conference matchup and the Tribe begins conference play Thursday with a match at UNC-Wilmington. Issues remain for Daly and his staff, such as the Tribe’s lack of first-half offense.
The Tribe has not scored a first-half goal since Sept. 6 against Utah. Only four of their 12 total goals have come in the first half all season.
“It always helps when people score earlier. You can get a little more comfortable as a team and you tend to be a little more relaxed,” Daly said. “The longer a game goes without a goal, the more likely it is you are going to get more anxious and start snatching at chances.”
Another issue for the Tribe will be Mason. Although not allowed to face the Patriots until the start of the conference season, the College has seen Mason play four times now, twice in the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott Tribe Invitational and twice at the George Mason tournament.
The Patriots will present unique matchup problems for the Tribe when the two teams meet Oct. 23rd.
“They have a couple of dangerous players, and they’ve got that physical edge about them. We’ve got to figure out how we are going to deal with them,” Daly said. “We really cannot fight fire with fire. We really just have to stick to our guns and play our game and see if our game is going to be good enough.”