WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women's soccer team defeated Northeastern, 2-1 in Colonial Athletic Association action on Friday night from Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. Behind goals from freshman Nicole Baxter and junior Dani Rutter, the College now sits atop the conference standings. Additionally, the Tribe clinched a spot in the 2012 CAA Tournament, which is set to begin on Oct. 28. With the win, W&M improves to 12-5 overall and 6-2 in CAA play, while Northeastern falls to 7-9 on the season and 5-3 in league action.
The Tribe dominated possession early on as play got underway on Friday evening. On multiple accounts, the Green and Gold generated quality through looks but were unable to get ahead during the initial stages of the match. Northeastern attempted to counter in the opening stanza as it put a pair of long shots on frame that bounced unthreatening to freshman keeper Caroline Casey. In the 37th minute, Tribe freshman Katie Johnston got a great look on goal. After Northeastern's sophomore keeper Paige Burnett punched away an attempted cross, Johnston was at the right place at the right time. The clear attempt bounced her way, and the Haddonfield, N.J., native cranked a shot from just outside the six that missed high of goal.
W&M continued its relentless attack and got on the scoreboard with 53 seconds remaining in the half. After corralling possession and dribbling towards the left baseline, junior Audrey Barry sent a cross to Baxter, who then shelved her fourth goal of the season into the top left corner of net.
In second-half action, the Green and Gold kept applying the pressure as it reeled off three shots before the Huskies managed one attempt. After receiving a perfectly placed through ball courtesy of sophomore Aly Shaughnessy, senior Mallory Schaffer was poised to extend the College's lead to 2-0, but her shot was saved by Burnett in the 61st minute. Northeastern countered with a dangerous header via senior Gretta Samuelsdottir, but the Kopavogur, Iceland, native's attempt narrowly missed wide of goal in the 62nd minute.
In the 67th minute, Shaughnessy sent a through ball to a streaking Rutter, who broke away from the defense and beat Burnett one-on-one for the Tribe's second goal of the night. The goal was Rutter's fifth of the year, while the assist was Shaughnessy's first points of the season. Down but not out, Northeastern rallied when junior Hanna Terry punched home her first goal of the year, from 12 yards out, in the 73rd minute. Needing the equalizer, the Huskies final chance occurred when Samuelsdottir sent another header towards goal, however Casey was there to register her fourth save of the night.
Tribe soccer returns to action on Sunday, as it welcomes Hofstra to Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field for a match slated to get underway at 2 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Sunday, as the College will honor its senior class prior to kickoff. Fans can also follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live video and stats.