Second-Half Spark Not Enough for Tribe Men’s Soccer

November 29th, 2010 by Kim Lenz

Dallas, Texas – The No. 9-ranked William and Mary Tribe men’s soccer team fell to the No. 7-ranked SMU Mustangs, 1-0, in the NCAA Third Round on Saturday night. With the loss, the Tribe ends the season with a record of 15-4-3, while SMU advances to play North Carolina next weekend.

In the defeat, senior goalkeeper Andrew McAdams made eight saves, while senior Michael DiNuzzo, senior Jimmy Carroll, junior Nicolas Abrigo, and junior James Lofton all had two shots.

In the first minute, the Tribe fired off the first shot of the match, testing the SMU goalie early. Freshman Roshan Patel cracked a shot from 25 yards out from the left wing that initially the Mustangs’ goalie thought was going to be way wide. The ball knuckled back towards the goal, however, in the wind, just missing to the far right post.

The Tribe would fall behind in the 10th minute when Josie Soto scored the first goal of the match. Soto bent the shot in from the right side, curling it just inside the far right post from 15 yards out. Soto’s seventh score of the season gave the Mustangs’ an early, 1-0 lead.

At the break, SMU would maintain its 1-0 advantage. In the first half, SMU outshot the College, 9-3, getting six shots on goal to the Tribe’s one. Corner kicks in the first 45 minutes were even at 1-1.

In the second half the Tribe’s offense ramped up and the College was able to get a nice opportunity in the 57th minute. After earning a corner kick, Patel sent a nice ball to the back post. The corner found DiNuzzo, who headed the ball towards goal, only to see his attempt sail high of the crossbar.

On the counter attack in the 59th minute, freshman John Ciampa sent a cross into the box, looking for Carroll. The pass had just a little too much pace on it and Carroll just missed connecting from the shadow of the goal.

In the 81st minute, the Tribe came within inches of tying the match. The College was sending most of its men forward on the attack when senior Derek Buckley sent a pass to Lofton. Lofton took control of the pass near the baseline, firing a shot on goal that hit the crossbar, just missing tying the match for the Tribe.

With the shots coming fast and furious, DiNuzzo took a long shot for the Tribe in the 84th minute. After a failed clearance, DiNuzzo took control of the ball on the right side of the box. DiNuzzo blasted a shot on goal, forcing the SMU keeper to make a nice save, preserving the Mustangs’ lead.

With under a minute left, the Tribe made its final attack. McAdams sent goal kick deep into SMU territory. After the ball was knocked around, the ball got past the SMU keeper and Baako was able to blast it in the goal, only to see the score called back on a close offsides goal. With just 25 seconds left, the College was unable to mount another chance and lost to the Mustangs, 1-0.

For the match, SMU outshot the College, 18-10, getting nine shots on goal to the Tribe’s three. Corner kicks were 5-4 in favor of the Mustangs.

With the defeat in the third round of the NCAA tournament, the Tribe’s year comes to an end. The 2010 season was a fantastic one for the College, one that saw W&M win both the CAA regular season and tournament titles. The CAA championship was the seventh in the history of the program.

The Tribe’s 15 wins on the year were the most for the College since the 2002 season and the Green and Gold hosted an NCAA Tournament match for the second time in three years. The Tribe’s advancement to the third round of the NCAA Tournament marked the eighth time that the College had reached the Sweet Sixteen in school history, the first since the 2002 campaign.

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