Gritty defense and a 16th-minute goal from junior Kayleigh Shackford propelled William and Mary (2-4, 0-0 CAA) to a 1-0 victory over East Carolina (4-6) Sunday, Sept. 12.
In her college debut, Tribe freshman goalie Morgan Wood was critical in the Tribe’s win, amassing five saves in the second half to help sophomore goalie Grace Lemley shut out the Pirates — despite ECU getting 16 shots over the course of the 90 minutes. The College had six shots all game, only two of which made it on target, but the singular goal of the contest rendered those stats null and void.
Shackford’s goal came early in the match off an assist from sophomore midfielder Ginny Delacruz, her first career assist to boot. After feeding it through, Shackford did the rest, launching a piercing shot from 25 yards out that slipped past the Pirate goalie.
Head Coach Julie Shackford was complimentary of Delacruz as well as the fight from her team as a whole after the game.
“I’m so proud of our effort today,” Shackford said. “We showed a lot of resolve and held a very athletic ECU team off the board. I give credit to Ginny Delacruz for stepping in and winning a ball and finding Kayleigh for the goal.”
After the initial goal, it was a largely defensive game for the Tribe. The College actually outshot the Pirates 5-4 in the opening half before ECU went on a tear of attempts after intermission, getting 12 shots to a singular Tribe effort in the final 45 minutes.
This defensive consistency was lauded by Shackford after the contest as well.
“Our whole defense played great, including our backline of Addie Puskar, Riley Friesen, Ginny Delacruz and Emma D’Alesandro, who worked hard for each other,” Shackford said. “Our freshman back Emma D’Alesandro dealt with baptism by fire and had a great debut. Freshman Morgan Wood had a great second half, managing the game and making two key saves.”
Next up for the College is a home game against No. 24 nationally-ranked Georgetown. The game will begin at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Martin Family Stadium.