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W&M Slides Past James Madison, 4-3 in Conference Opener
Updated: Thursday 09/29/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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A persistent and patient second-half attack lifted William and Mary to a 4-3 win over James Madison in field hockey Saturday afternoon in the conference opener for both squads.  The Tribe improved to 4-5 on the year and 1-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while the Dukes fell to 5-5 and 0-1 in league play.

Box Score

After a wild and woolly first half that saw each team score three goals, the second half only saw one goal, the deciding one.  With just under four minutes to go, freshman Maria Pastor (Burke, Va.) dumped a long ball into the circle and found classmate Olivia Hajek (Charlottesville, Va.) who tipped the ball in off of a defender for the score.  It was Hajek's second game-winner in as many matches, and Pastor's first assist of the year.

While that was the only score of the second half, the first saw six goals.  The Tribe scored first on a nifty give-and-go between Australians Emma Clifton (Loomberah, NSW) and Pippin Saunders (Mittagong, NSW) just over three minutes in.  The final pass came from Clifton, who pushed it forward to find Saunders streaking in behind the defensive and shooting past the goalkeeper.  Four minutes later, the Dukes responded with an attack of their own.  W&M tried to clear out a crossing pass, but the JMU attacker was there to collect a short goal and even the score.

Three minutes later, it was Saunders again on the score off a corner.  After the JMU keeper saved the Tribe's first shot, Saunders collected the rebound at the near post and put it in for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.  Play continued back and forth for the next 20 minutes, before the final of the half saw another flurry of scores.  The Dukes scored twice off of corners, in the 31st and 34th minutes, to take a 3-2 lead, but with 30 seconds to go, a Tribe corner gave W&M an opportunity it would not pass up.  Saunders and Clifton set the pass up for sophomore Esty Byrd (Charlotte, N.C.), who fired the ball into the boards for her second goal of the year.

Sophomore Meredith Savage (Virginia Beach, Va.) got the win in goal, making five saves and several more key clearances over the course of the match.  The Tribe held a 15-12 advantage in shots and 7-4 in penalty corners, with a large 10-2 edge in shots in the second half.

William and Mary is back in action next weekend, making a road trip to face Delaware Friday at 7 p.m. and Towson Sunday at 12 p.m.









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