William and Mary got back to its winning ways Saturday night, shutting out Big Ten opponent Michigan 4-0 in the friendly confines of Martin Family Stadium after dropping two straight matches on the road.
The Tribe (7-5-2, 1-3-2 CAA) had their foot on the gas pedal for the majority of the match, consistently creating scoring opportunities against the Wolverines’ defense. By the end of the 90 minutes, the College had outshot Michigan (2-8-4, 1-4-1 Big Ten) 22-4.
“I think we were very good from beginning to end,” head coach Chris Norris told Tribe Athletics. “I thought that our mindset was great right from the start. The guys did a terrific job of trying to carry out the plan … I thought it was, for my money, one of our best performances of the season.”
I thought it was, for my money, one of our best performances of the season,” Norris said to Tribe Athletics.
Despite seizing momentum early in the match, the Tribe did not put the ball in the back of the net until the 40th minute. The College manufactured several golden opportunities throughout the first half, but more often than not Wolverine goalkeeper Braden Horton was there to make the decisive stop. Horton recorded nine saves over the course of the match, five coming in the opening 45 minutes.
Horton and the Wolverines did eventually concede, however, as the Tribe breakthrough came courtesy of sophomore forward Ryder Bell. Senior forward Reilly Maw sent a pass across the penalty box, which Bell collected before lashing his shot home for his sixth goal of the season. Maw and Bell, both regular starters, came off the bench Saturday night and made a big impact, tallying a combined three goals and three assists.
“We thought that for reasons of balance in the group we wanted to put a couple guys in the starting lineup that haven’t always started this year for us, and use Ryder and Reilly in roles where they were coming off the bench to try and give us a boost from an energy and athleticism standpoint, and they did a tremendous job,” Norris said to Tribe Athletics.
The Tribe went into halftime clinging to their 1-0 lead, and in the second period once again did not add to their advantage until late in the half. Michigan nearly equalized in the opening seconds of the second half, but junior goalkeeper Phil Breno stopped the shot, his lone save of the match.
We thought that for reasons of balance in the group we wanted to put a couple guys in the starting lineup that haven’t always started this year for us, and use Ryder and Reilly in roles where they were coming off the bench to try and give us a boost from an energy and athleticism standpoint, and they did a tremendous job,” Norris said to Tribe Athletics.
The game began to open up as the Wolverines pressed for a goal, and the College took advantage with a string of three goals over a span of less than five minutes to put the match to bed. Sophomore forward Antonio Bustamante doubled the Tribe’s lead with a goal in the 81st minute, receiving a clinical pass from Maw on the break and tallying his seventh score of the campaign. Maw then scored less than a minute later, controlling a long ball from Bell and finishing past a defenseless Horton, his third goal this season.
Bell provided the final touch to the 4-0 scoreline in the 86th minute, taking a pass from Bustamante on the right side of the penalty area before finding the back of the net to bag his brace and match Bustamante with seven goals in 2016.
After this convincing Homecoming victory, the Tribe will head to Charlottesville, Va. Tuesday to take on No. 15 Virginia. The match against the Cavaliers is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.