Saturday night, William and Mary took the field following a 4-0 loss at Virginia Tech to face Colonial Athletic Association foe Drexel at home. Two first half goals and a strong defensive performance ensured the Tribe (4-8-2, 2-2-2 CAA) a 2-1 victory over the Dragons (8-5-3, 2-5-1 CAA) in a crucial conference matchup.
After a relatively balanced first few minutes, the Tribe struck first. In the 27th minute, junior midfielder Cole Smith took a through ball from senior forward Antonio Bustamante and put it past the keeper, giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Almost 10 minutes later, the Dragons tied it up. After a foul on the College resulting in a yellow card for Smith, midfielder Neil Boyal found forward Kwesi Allen on the free kick. Allen headed the ball into the net and knotted the game at one.
The game would not be tied for long. In the 44th minute, junior midfielder Julian Ngoh took a pass up the left side of the field from senior back Marcel Berry. Ngoh found senior forward Graham Guidry streaking into the box, and Guidry one-timed the ball into the back of the net to put the Tribe ahead, 2-1.
That would be all the scoring in the game, as the Tribe was able to lock down defensively and hold on to its one-goal lead. The College only allowed eight shots over the course of the entire game, including merely four on net. Drexel managed to produce two more chances late in the game, as Allen and back Anthony Amore both recorded shots on target, but senior goaltender Sam Onyeador stepped up and made two saves to preserve the victory for the Tribe.
The College controlled the pace of the game, getting 20 shots off, including six on goal. Bustamante recorded seven of the twenty, while senior forward Ryder Bell had six. Onyeador tallied three saves for the College.
The Tribe’s win propels it into fifth place in the CAA. Out of the nine teams in the conference, six make the conference playoffs. With two games remaining in the season, the College can clinch a CAA tournament appearance with a win in either match. Next up for the Tribe is a matchup with North Carolina-Wilmington, currently in second place in the conference, in Wilmington Saturday before the College finishes its regular season with a bout against Charleston at home Oct. 30.