Williamsburg - The #12-ranked William and Mary Tribe menís soccer team captured its seventh CAA title in program history on Sunday afternoon, beating the Hofstra Pride, 4-0, at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. With the victory, the Tribe improves its record to 15-3-2 on the season.
Thanks to four second-half goals, the Tribe claimed its first conference championship since the 2000 season. Along with the CAA title, the Tribe earned the conferenceís automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The bid is the 14th in school history and the second in three years for the program.
For William and Mary, the menís soccer CAA title is the 100th in school history. The 100 CAA crowns is the most of any school and W&M is the only CAA institution to reach the 100 conference championships benchmark.
Leading the way for the Tribe was junior Nicolas Abrigo, who registered the Tribeís first hat trick since the since senior Alan Koger notched one on October 18, 2008. Also netting a goal for the Tribe was the aforementioned Koger, who scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Recording assists on the afternoon for the College were senior Jimmy Carroll and redshirt-sophomore Ben Anderson. In goal, senior Andrew McAdams registered his CAA-leading eighth shutout of the season, making three saves.
In a physical, back and forth first half, neither team would be able to get on the scoreboard. In the first 45 minutes, Hofstra was able to out shoot the College, 5-4, but the Tribe would get more shots on goal, 3-1.
Late in the first half, the Tribe would get its best two chances at a goal. In the 28th minute, the Tribe was on the attack with the ball on the left wing. Sophomore Ben Coffey sent a great cross to the right side of the box, finding an open Koger. Koger settled the pass and took a shot on goal from six yards, only to see the Hofstra keeper touch it left of the post for a corner kick.
On the ensuing corner, freshman Roshan Patel found himself open on the right side from about 20 yards out. Patel cracked a shot towards goal on the ground which was hit with such pace that the Prideís goalie had no choice but to push it out of play.
Despite the good chances, the match would head into halftime in a scoreless tie. In the first frame, four different players took shots for the College, with Abrigo, Koger, and Patel all getting looks on goal for William and Mary.
The second half of the match would continue to be a physical battle, but in this half, the Tribe would be able to score four goals, running away with the CAA championship. In the second half, the College would out shoot the Pride, 10-5, getting six shots on goal to Hofstraís two.
Abrigo would get the scoring started for the College in the 678th minute after the Tribe was awarded a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box of Hofstra. Abrigo approached the ball from the left, striking it beautifully with his right foot. Abrigoís strike bent perfectly around the Pride wall of players, just outside the reach of the Hofstra goalie for the first goal of the match.
Just over 10 minutes later, Koger would get in on the goal-scoring action for the Tribe, taking advantage of a Pride team that was now playing with just 10 men. On a counter-attack, Anderson found a streaking Koger on the left side of the pitch. Anderson delivered a pass perfectly in stride to Koger, who beat the Pride keeper. After getting past the sprawling goalie, Koger was able to tap the ball into an empty net from six yards out. Kogerís 10th goal of the season gave the Tribe a 2-0 advantage.
The Tribe continued to assault the Hofstra defense even after taking a 2-0 lead. In the 84th minute, Abrigo beat the Hofstra keeper to a pass from Carroll on the right side, giving Abrigo space for a shot. Abrigo wouldnít waste the opportunity, burying a shot in the back of the net from 18 yards out for his second goal of the match.
Just over three minutes later, Abrigo would complete his hat trick and cement the match even further for the Green and Gold. On a counter attack, Abrigo was in space on a breakaway. Abrigo fired a shot towards goal that was batted right back to him off a diving Hofstra goalie. Abrigo collected the rebound and calmly shot the ball in from 15 yards out to give the College its first CAA title in 10 years.
The four goals for the Tribe in its win over Hofstra tied the teamí season high this season, with its previous four-goal output coming on September 12 of this season in a win over Rhode Island. The four goals scored was also the most for the Tribe in the CAA Tournament since the College defeated UNC Wilmington in the quarterfinals in 2001.
After the match, Abrigo was named the CAA Tournamentís Most Outstanding Player, having totaled four goals, including both game-winners. Also earning a spot on the All-Tournament team for William and Mary were McAdams, Koger, and senior Derek Buckley.
The #12-ranked William and Mary Tribe menís soccer team now awaits the NCAA Tournament. The selection show for the national championship will air on Monday, November 15 at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU. For complete coverage of William and Mary menís soccer, go to TribeAthletics.com.