Women’s soccer ties Monmouth after holding two goal lead at halftime

Members of the William and Mary women’s soccer team celebrate after a goal during their 2-2 tie at home against Monmouth on Sunday, Oct. 9. Junior Kenna Zier and freshman Ivey Crain each scored during the first half of the game. COURTESY IMAGE // TRIBE ATHLETICS

Sunday, Oct. 9, William and Mary (6-5-4, 2-1-3 CAA) tied Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival Monmouth (10-2-2, 3-1-2 CAA) 2-2 at home on Albert Daly Field. Despite early goals in both halves, William and Mary could not hold on to their lead.

“I would say on the one hand, we were really disappointed because I think we did enough to win the game,” head coach Julie Shackford said. “We need to show a little more leadership and maturity in those last 15, 20 minutes to close out a game.”

As Shackford’s comment suggests, the game overwhelmingly favored the Tribe for the first three quarters of the match. Even within the first five minutes of the game, the Tribe had scored.

Graduate student forward Cricket Basa hustled down the field and passed up to freshman forward Ivey Crain. With a cross-goal pass, Crain sent the ball flying to junior midfielder Kenna Zier, who helped the ball find its home in the back of the net. 

“I think we came out strong, and we attacked well,” Zier said. 

The rest of the first half remained scoreless, but not uneventful. Crain managed two more shots on goal, but Hawks goalkeeper CassieCoster stopped both attempts. Both women were awarded CAA distinctions earlier in the week: Coster for Defensive Player of the Week and Crain for Rookie of the Week. This week marks Crain’s third week in a row on the CAA list of honors, with another Rookie title and one for Offensive Player of the Week in the bag.

The Tribe was highly mobile in the first half. The team seemed to be everywhere, dogging the Hawks on defense, or playing an uncontested passing game on offense. They stuck to a consistent strategy of Ps: passing, pressure, and physicality.  

Senior Zoe Doughty played goalkeeper and playmaker, defending against three Hawks corner kicks. Both Hawks shots of the period went wide, but Doughty’s heads-up play was critical to letting the offense maintain pressure.

 “I think we came out as a unit. I think the other team knows that we out-possessed them, we out-played them,” Crain said. 

The beginning of the second half mirrored the first: within three minutes, the Tribe had scored another goal. This time, Zier assisted on Crain’s goal, bringing the Tribe’s score up to 2-0. 

“We work well together!” Crain said of her and Zier’s partnership. “I don’t know how many shots I had, but I had been waiting for it long enough that I knew it was going to come.“

With a solid lead, the Tribe let up on pressuring the Hawks, who seized the opportunity. At 57:33, Hawks forward A’Liah Moore scored, breaking through the Tribe’s defense in front of the goal, and putting the ball past Doughty into the far corner. 

The momentum shifted. The Hawks’ bench became louder and the Tribe seemed unconfident in the midfield. The Tribe began to play man-to-man defense, which proved less effective.

“I think we got a little bit shaken up when we just sat back and defended, so I think we just needed to go at them and get more goals,” Zier said. 

The shift in play led to a Hawks goal late in the second half. Monmouth defender Ava Allen shot a high corner to tie the game. 

With less than five minutes left, the Tribe could not find enough energy to rally. The tie extends the Tribe’s not-winning streak of two ties and a loss at home. 

“We’re a very attack-minded team, and when we are confident, that’s when we play our best,” Crain said. 

The Tribe travels next week to face more CAA rivals. Both teams, Elon and Towson, are currently ranked above William and Mary in the standings. 

“I think we finally have the scoring down. We just need to figure out how to keep the lead and defend as a unit better,” Zier said. 

Coach Shackford repeated those same comments, saying what she would be coaching on for the week to come. 

“I will be working on winning and maintaining leads, managing games, finishing games out for sure,”Shackford said. “When you have a two-nothing lead, you manage the clock, you manage the types of balls you’re playing, you use the corners of the field. Killing the game. That’s what I call it. Not getting frantic or frenzied.”

The Tribe plays next Thursday, Oct. 13, at Towson at 7 p.m. It will be their third to last game of the regular season.


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