William and Mary returned home after dropping three straight road games. The Tribe was looking to end its losing streak and stay undefeated at Martin Family Stadium for the season when it took on in-state rival Virginia Commonwealth.
The College (3-4) got off to a slow start, with the Rams (1-5) controlling most of the possession in the first 10 minutes of the game. VCU capitalized on their early control of the ball, scoring the first two goals and holding the College scoreless in the opening minutes to claim a 2-0 advantage. The Tribe finally got on the board 12 minutes into the game when senior attacker Abby Corkum scored an unassisted goal to cut the Rams’ lead in half. However, VCU answered immediately with a goal by midfielder Sky Hyatt just ten seconds later, helping the Rams to reestablish their 2-goal lead. The Tribe and VCU traded the next two goals, leaving the College behind 4-2 with just over 10 minutes to play in the opening half.
However, the Tribe scored the next three goals over the course of five minutes to give the College its first lead of the day, 5-4. Freshman attacker Sophie Kopec scored one of her team-high two first-half goals during the Tribe’s three-goal spurt. The Rams bounced back to score the final goal before the break to deadlock the game, 5-5.
The Tribe reclaimed the lead at the start of the second half with a goal by junior midfielder Hannah Ryan in the first two minutes. The College then scored three more goals in the next four minutes to claim a commanding 9-5 edge. Corkum found the twine twice in that span to give her a hat trick for the game with over 24 minutes remaining.
“Once we get into the flow of things and we know our capability and what we can do and how we can read their defense, we just pick up steam minute-by-minute,” Corkum said.
After the quick start to the second half, the College cruised the rest of the way, scoring 10 goals in the second half and holding the Rams scoreless en route to a 15-5 rout. The College was led by Corkum’s three goals and an assist, along with Kopec’s two goals and two assists.
“We did it for the defenders who knocked down shots and stopped some of their big players,” Corkum said. “We just tried to carry that over on attack to take care of the ball.”
The team’s renewed tenacity and competitiveness helped it rebound from the tough road trip prior.
“I think the focus that we had today and this whole week was second chance opportunities and what you can control in it and that is how hard you go for a ground,” head coach Hillary Fratzke said.
The College will try to complete another undefeated homestand and get back to .500 for the season when it takes on Old Dominion on Mar. 17 at Martin Family Stadium.
“We talked about as team getting a little bit of a mentally-focused start and that should really help us to get us where we want to be,” Fratzke said.