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W&M Beats Hofstra 2-1 in 2OT to Earn Spot in CAA Tournament
Updated: Tuesday 11/03/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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With postseason hopes on the line for both teams Sunday, the William and Mary field hockey team and that of Hofstra played an instant classic at Busch Field that went deep into extra time before the Tribe was able to come away with a 2-1 victory in double overtime.  With the win, W&M improves to 8-10 overall and 3-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, and advances to next week's CAA Tournament where the Tribe will take on No. 1-seeded Delaware in the semifinal round.  Hofstra completes its season at 6-14 overall, and 2-4 in the league.

Box Score

After taking a moment before the match to honor its seven seniors, W&M put on an absolute clinic on offense that was matched by an equally impressive Hofstra defense.  The Tribe took a staggering 41 shots in the game, the sixth-most ever in program history and the highest total since the 1992 team took 54 against Georgetown.  More than half of those were on-goal (21), led in both categories by senior Taylor Hodge (Louisville, Ky.), who had 13 shots and put seven in between the pipes.  Her 13 shots is the second-most ever by a single attempt, trailing only Jaime Bolen's '01 14 against VCU in 2000.

Despite that offensive onslaught, which saw the Tribe outshoot Hofstra 15-2 and hold a 7-0 advantages in corners in the first half, it was the Pride who jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.  Making a quick break upfield in the 24th minute, the visitors got the ball in close at the near post, and after sophomore goalkeeper Cate Johnson (Charlottesville, Va.) stuffed the first attempt, the second was poked along the goalmouth where a trailing attacker was able to nudge it in.

The Tribe attack kept plugging away through the rest of the first period and during the second, finally breaking through with the equalizer in the 57th minute.  Senior Mia Cherry (Yorktown, Va.) made a long entry pass on the near side that found the stick of sophomore Esty Byrd (Charlotte, N.C.) about five yards out.  Byrd lofted a cross through the middle of the circle to the back side of the play, where Hodge one-timed it out of the air and back across the goalmouth to land in the far corner.  It was Byrd's first career assist, and Hodge's team-leading 10th goal of the season.  She is the first Tribe player to reach double-digit goals since Kelly Giles '06 had 14 en route to winning CAA Player of the Year in 2004.

W&M had a couple more chances after that to take the lead, including a try from senior Giovanna Golen (Charlotte, N.C.) that banged off the post, and Hofstra also had an opportunity on their only corner of the game in the 66th minute, but neither team was able to capitalize and the match headed to the first overtime tied at 1-1.  The Tribe continued to press offensively in the 7v7 period, taking nine shots and earning another three corner opportunities, but couldn't break through in the first 15 minutes.  Hofstra had two chances in the first overtime, but Johnson was up to the task both times.  Finally, in the 91st minute and during the second overtime, sophomore Pippin Saunders (Mittagong, NSW) got out on a breakaway behind the Pride defense.  Going one-on-one with Hofstra's goalkeeper, who had made an unfathomable 19 saves to that point, Saunders gave one fake and then crossed her over and made a diving shot into the far netting.  The score was Saunders' seventh of the season, and second game-winner.

For the match, W&M outshot Hofstra 41-10, and held a 15-1 advantage in penalty corners.  Johnson made seven saves on the afternoon, including six combined in the second half and overtime to keep her team in the hunt.  Today marked the final home match for seniors Hodge, Cherry, Golen, Taylor Gladey (Mountaintop, Pa.), Chaney Manganello (Richmond, Va.), Jesse Ebner (Sinking Spring, Pa.), and Adriana Peratsakis (Williamsburg, Va.).

William and Mary will begin its hunt for the CAA title next Friday, Nov. 8, taking on top-seeded Delaware at 4 p.m. in Newark, Del.  The Blue Hens, regular season champions at 14-4 (6-0 CAA), are ranked 19th in the latest national polls.

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