WILLIAMSBURG, Va - In front of a Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field record crowd of 901, the William and Mary women's soccer team fell in its season opener to No. 1 Duke Friday night, 4-1. The Blue Devils, who managed four first-half scores, go to 1-0 on the season while W&M falls to, 0-1.
Duke got on the scoreboard first, after freshman Cassie Pecht headed in a cross from junior Natasha Anasi in the ninth minute. Four minutes later, the Blue Devils connected on their second score of the night, after a W&M save fell back into the pitch as Duke junior Laura Weinberg connecting on the rebound score. Before the half ended, Duke tacked on two more goals in the 28th and 37th minutes as it took a 4-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Tribe gave itself chances early and often. For the first 17 minutes of the second frame, W&M registered four shots, two of which coming on goal and three corner kicks. Senior forward Cortlyn Bristol registered the Tribe's two shots on frame and a shot, while senior midfielder Mallory Schaffer connected on a header that sailed wide right of net.
Unable to put through any of those promising looks, Schaffer got the Green and Gold on the scoreboard in the 65th minute. Junior forward Audrey Barry discovered Schaffer streaking down the right middle, towards the 18. Schaffer then dribbled to her left, and fired a shot from just outside of the 18, which flew past the Duke goalie for the far post goal.
Five W&M freshmen saw their first collegiate playing time Friday evening. Freshmen Caroline Casey and Leci Irvin made their first career starts, while classmates Nicole Baxter, Barbara Platenberg and Samantha Cordum saw action in reserve roles.
The record crowd of 901 broke the previous mark of 711, which originated during the 2008 season against CAA foe Hofstra.
Tribe soccer returns to action Friday, Aug.24, as it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., for a weekend tournament hosted by the Volunteers. On Friday, Aug. 24, W&M will square off against Tennessee in an 8 p.m. start time. The College will conclude play in the tournament on Sunday, Aug. 26, as it faces Akron in match slated for 12:30 p.m. Fans can follow Green and Gold soccer online at TribeAthletics.com.