Men’s soccer: College shuts out Northeastern with a game remaining

Senior goalkeeper Bennett Jones, reclaiming his starting role after a one-game reprieve, notched eight saves as William and Mary (6-10-1, 3-3-1 CAA) shutout Northeastern (6-10-0, 3-3-0 CAA), 1-0, Saturday night. Sophomore forward Riley Maw scored the lone goal of the game, beating Northeastern’s goalkeeper in a one-on-one play.

“I’m proud of the group and happy for them,” head coach Chris Norris told Tribe Athletics. “Northeastern is a dangerous young team and very tough at home. We battled hard and made critical plays at both ends. We keep our post-season hopes alive and that was the most important thing about the result.”

The win marks Norris’s 100th career victory. Norris has averaged over nine wins a season, including a 15-win campaign that concluded in the third round of the NCAA tournament in 2010. While this season’s ending is undetermined, the Tribe remains in contention for post-season play.

The Colonial Athletic Association tournament invites six teams to compete for the championship, with the winner advancing to the NCAA tournament. The College, currently 5th in the league, plays one final regular season game: a road matchup at James Madison Oct. 29, slated to begin at 7 p.m. The match holds tournament implications for both sides.

The Tribe’s path to the tournament is clear. A win, and the College is in. Should the College lose, Northeastern would need to lose its final two games — Hofstra and James Madison — for the Tribe to advance. In the event of a tie, the implications are less obvious.

If the game between James Madison and Northeastern also ends in a tie, then the Tribe would advance to the postseason. The same goes if Hofstra beats Northeastern. The only scenario in which the Tribe ties James Madison and does not advance would require Northeastern to beat Hofstra, and the Huskies to then lose to James Madison.

With six teams, the top two teams receive a bye, and the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds enjoy a home game to start the tournament. If the College and James Madison tie Wednesday, the Tribe has an outside shot to play another game at Martin Family Stadium. Northeastern would need to lose and then tie James Madison. A match between Elon and Delaware would also need to end in a tie. In this scenario, the Tribe would be the fourth ranked team in the conference.

If the Tribe wins against the Duke, it guarantees itself another home game, and could potentially receive a bye. If Hofstra loses the rest of the way, Elon and Delaware tie, and James Madison beats or ties Northeastern, the Tribe would become the second ranked team in the conference. This is not the most likely of scenarios, but is still within the realm of possibility.

If Hofstra wins any of its remaining matches, the best the College could hope for would be the third overall seed. This scenario requires Elon and Delaware to tie. If either Elon or Delaware win their matchup, the College would finish as the No. 4 seed, with either the Phoenix or Blue Hens taking the No. 3 seed.

Despite a shaky start to the season, the College has an excellent shot to play in the post-season. The next few days will determine the Tribe’s season.


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