Saturday, March 18, William and Mary (4-4, 1-0 CAA) beat Hofstra (3-6, 0-1 CAA) 13-12 in its first conference matchup of the season at Martin Family Stadium in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The Tribe started the season with a narrow victory in its annual Game Hair Havoc day, where players wear their craziest hairstyles in support of the Headstrong Foundation, a group that supports cancer patients and their families.
Similarly to the hair on the field, the game was crazy from start to finish. The first quarter began with an almost immediate goal by sophomore midfielder Paige Gilbert, the fifth of the year. Just two minutes later, Hofstra responded with a goal of their own, and with just under four minutes played, both teams were knotted at 1-1. The scoring slowed until the end of the quarter, when midfielder Emily Weigand scored a go-ahead goal for Hofstra with two minutes, 23 seconds left. That lead lasted less than two minutes, as Tribe freshman attacker Sydney Witwer found the back of the net for her seventh goal of the year.
After the first quarter ended, the Tribe kicked it into a whole new gear — their offense came out of the break ready to take the CAA by storm. In the first eight minutes of the second quarter, the Tribe went on a 7-0 run with goals coming from all over the field. Senior attacker London Simonides led with three, freshman midfielder Maresa Moyer scored twice and junior attacker Ellie Shea and sophomore midfielder Serena Jacobs tacked on one each.
The Pride tried to slow things down with three goals of their own, but the Tribe continued their offensive onslaught with two goals within the last minute of the half from sophomore midfielder Justyce Barber and freshman midfielder Kate Draddy.
After finishing the first quarter tied 2-2, the Green and Gold went into the locker room with a commanding 11-5 lead, and of course, the same crazy hair they started with.
Hofstra, to William and Mary’s dismay, was not ready to roll over and let the game slip away. The Pride went on a run of their own in the third, outscoring the Tribe 3-1 in the quarter. Junior attacker Kerry Walser scored two in the third for Hofstra, increasing her match total to four goals, a game-high. Graduate student attacker Rachel Graff also scored a Pride goal, which Witwer matched with a goal of her own.
Along with the score, tensions began to rise in the third. Two of the three yellow cards in the game came in the third quarter, with one offense from each team. As the quarter came to an end with a 12-8 lead for the Tribe, both teams could sense the importance of a win.
Hofstra continued to attack the net and started to find success on offense. Senior midfielder Kate Fiola, senior attacker Lauren Coletti and Graff all scored within the first 10 minutes of the last quarter, almost completely erasing the William and Mary lead and making it 12-11 with just under six minutes left to play.
The Tribe needed to dig deep defensively, and with a little help from another Draddy goal, William and Mary secured some much needed wiggle room for the last few minutes of the game. The Pride was able to scratch across one more Graff goal with under a minute to play, but the Tribe’s lead proved too great to completely overcome.
The Tribe look to continue their strong start on Wednesday, March 22 in a non-league game against Longwood in Farmville, Virginia.
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