William and Mary entered Sunday’s game against Virginia Commonwealth on a two-game winning streak. The Tribe was fresh off of a thrilling 9-8 victory over Davidson to bump the College’s record back over .500. Meanwhile, the Rams came into Sunday’s contest on a two-game skid. Sunday, the Tribe (5-3) used a strong first half to propel it to a 17-13 victory over the Rams (3-4).
The Tribe got off to a fast start with a goal in less than three minutes. Senior attacker Maddie Torgerson recorded the first goal of the game to give the College a 1-0 advantage. The Rams were able to tie the score at one with just over 23 minutes remaining in the opening half, courtesy of a free position shot. Midfielder Savannah Slack took the shot and scored to pull the Rams even with the Tribe. However, the College got back on track by holding the Rams scoreless for over 15 minutes. During this time, the Tribe racked up four goals to jump out to a commanding 5-1 lead. Junior midfielder Meredith Hughes tallied two of the Tribe’s four goals during this span of time.
With under eight minutes to play before the half, the Rams pulled back within three goals. Nevertheless, the College finished the half strong with four goals in the last eight minutes of action. Hughes scored another two goals to give her a game-high four goals in the first half. At the break, the Tribe led 9-3.
The offensive onslaught continued at the start of the second half, with both teams combining for six goals in the first six minutes of play. The Rams managed to match the Tribe with three goals during this stretch, but the College still enjoyed a comfortable six-goal edge, 12-6 with 24 minutes remaining in the game.
The Rams did make a comeback in the middle of the second half. Midfielder Sky Hyatt scored two-straight goals to cut the deficit to four, 12-8 with under 20 minutes to go. However, freshman midfielder Belle Martire stopped the bleeding with a goal to reestablish the Tribe’s five-goal lead. That goal was Martire’s 22nd of the season in just eight games. The Rams refused to go away though, closing within three goals, 14-11, for the first time since the eight-minute mark of the first half. As the clock ticked below 10 minutes to play, the College added on two more goals for insurance to basically seal the win. Ultimately, the Tribe never trailed en route to a 17-13 victory.
The Rams were led in the loss by Hyatt and attacker Jessica Del Rossi. Hyatt had a game-high six goals, along with three assists, while Del Rossi added a hat trick. Meanwhile, the Tribe was led by Hughes’ team-high five goals. Martire finished with a hat trick and freshman midfielder Grace Ahonen added four goals.
The College will finish up its non-conference schedule next Sunday with its fourth-straight road game. The Tribe will travel to Coastal Carolina looking to continue building momentum going into CAA action. The Tribe’s CAA-opener is on the road at Hofstra April 5.