William and Mary suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Delaware Sunday, Oct. 6th at Martin Family Stadium. The Blue Hens (8-5, 3-1 CAA) scored a golden goal with just one minute left in the 2nd overtime, handing the College (3-8-2, 1-2-1 CAA) its first home loss of the season.
The first half began with a few frantic exchanges between the two sides. Possession bounced from one team to the other frequently, and neither was able to control the ball for any extended period of time. Eventually, the game settled down, and both teams generated several attacking opportunities throughout the half.
Senior striker Sarah Segan was particularly dangerous for the Tribe, producing two shots and several more chances in the first half alone. Blue Hens midfielder Lauren Ruth had the best chance of the first half for her team. She won the ball off a Tribe goal kick and sped forward to create a breakaway opportunity. Her shot hit the right post, maintaining the 0-0 deadlock.
Segan continued to bother the Blue Hens into the second half, coming close to scoring four minutes after the period started. The ball bounced to her off a long pass, and she was in on goal. Segan attempted to lob the bouncing ball over the head of the Blue Hens keeper, but her attempt sailed over the net.
The College relied on several strong defensive plays to keep the visitors at bay. Ruth, who had been a threat to the Tribe all game long, broke through and attempted to square the ball back to her teammate in the middle of the box. A last-ditch tackle by Tribe senior left back Hannah Keith prevented Ruth from scoring. Keith made several key tackles throughout the half to maintain the 0-0 score. Senior goalkeeper Katelyn Briguglio was also strong for the Tribe, making seven saves and generally being a calming influence defensively.
In the last five minutes of the second half, The College mounted one last attack on the Blue Hens, creating several good opportunities. The most dangerous of these opportunities came when Segan sent a low cross into the penalty area. Her ball was not dealt with by the Blue Hens defense, and chaos ensued in the box. Junior winger Colleen Norton was able to produce a shot, but a wall of Blue Hen defenders blocked the attempt.
At the end of regulation, the game remained scoreless, bringing the match into overtime. There, with just one minute left in the second extra period, the College conceded a devastating game-winning goal against the run of play. A Blue Hens corner kick created defensive panic in the penalty area. The ball fell to Blue Hens midfielder Anna Diffendal, who poked the ball into the net to win the game. The Blue Hens beach streamed onto the field to celebrate with Diffendal.
“I thought we outplayed them, we put a lot of good stuff together, but at the end of the day, for the amount of quality chances we had … we needed to put the game away earlier,” Tribe head coach Julie Shackford said.
The College faces another Colonial Athletic Association foe on Thursday night, when it travels to Wilmington, North Carolina to take on the North Carolina-Wilmington.