After a week of traveling that included trips to Bucknell, Texas A&M and eventually Maryland to wait out Hurricane Florence, William and Mary faced a quick turnaround when, at noon Saturday, Tribe Athletics announced a Sunday game against Virginia Commonwealth. The team came home to Williamsburg, where, despite being dominated in shots 22-5, the Tribe (3-5-0) fought hard in a close 1-0 loss to the Rams (5-2-0).
“VCU is a very good team,” head coach Julie Shackford ’88 said. “I think for the amount of pressure they put on us, we did well to keep it close.”
VCU controlled possession for most of the first half, putting up eight shots and allowing just one by the Tribe. Tenacious defense and two saves by junior goalkeeper Katelyn Briguglio kept the game scoreless going into halftime.
In the second half, the Tribe put together a few more opportunities on offense. But it was the Rams that were the first on the board, finally breaking through in the 55th minute on a goal by Susanna Friedrichs.
“We made some adjustments in the second half that I thought helped out a little bit,” Shackford said. “I thought we were more competitive, got into their end and made it a little bit harder for them.”
Ten minutes later, the Tribe would see its best opportunity of the match when redshirt junior forward Sarah Segan bounced a shot off the crossbar.
“I just figured I would beat [the Rams defender] inside, take a shot, see how it went,” Segan said. “And it just hit the post. It’s been one of those games.”
Sophomore midfielder Colleen Norton forced Rams goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson into a last-minute save, but hers and Segan’s attempts would be as close as the College would get to tying the game as it ultimately fell, 1-0.
“We’ve had a tough couple of weeks with travelling here and there … especially because this was a last-minute game planned, it was really hard to adjust,” Segan said.
The Tribe hits the road again to start this season’s conference play, as the team travels to South Carolina to take on Charleston Thursday.
“As a team, I don’t think anyone’s worried that we’re competitors,” Segan said. “We know we’ve competed every game. Today just got the best of us.”
Sports Editor Brendan Doyle contributed reporting.