Despite a 16-9 loss to No. 9 James Madison, William and Mary’s performance Sunday, April 21, was a victory in itself. The Tribe entered the game as the extreme underdog, up against a nationally-ranked Colonial Athletic Association rival, but it fought back to within four goals of the Dukes.
In the first half, the match was decidedly lopsided, as the College was outscored, outrun and outlasted by the Dukes. However, freshman attacker Belle Martire scored three of her four total goals in the opening 30 minutes, putting the Tribe on the board and in position to mount a comeback in the second half, which it promptly did. Trailing by eight goals as the second frame opened up, the Tribe went on a 5-1 run to close the gap to four goals and make the score 12-8 in the Dukes’ favor.
Senior attacker Maddie Torgerson led the offensive rally, scoring all four of her goals in the second half. Combined with Martire the two were responsible for eight of the Tribe’s nine goals.
Down by four with just under nine minutes remaining, the Tribe was shut out by the Dukes, who tacked on four more goals, bringing the final tally to 16-9. The Dukes outshot the Tribe by a gaping 36-18 margin, and yet they still only managed to win by seven, pointing to outstanding shot selection on the College’s part. Martire shone in that category once again, scoring four times on just four attempts.
The College’s main struggle was in offensive distribution. The Dukes found the back of the net 16 times off 10 different players, while all of the Tribe’s nine goals were scored by three people.
Distribution struggles aside, it was an incredibly strong outing for the Tribe. Most notably, the College earned a .500 shooting percentage against the Dukes’ renown defense, which took the upper hand in draw controls (20-7) as well as ground balls (21-18).
This impressive showing adds to the Tribe’s impressive season, as this team has outperformed expectations, beating rival Delaware to earn the first CAA victory in three seasons. The College will close out its regular season schedule at home, hosting Elon at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field for senior night Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m.