Nov. 21, 2008

WILLIAMSBURG, VA - Winthrop gave up two goals in the first 10 minutes and never recovered as it fell to William & Mary 3-1 in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, Friday evening at Albert-Daly Field.

Things went back for the Eagles (15-6-1) just 34 seconds into the match after the defense failed to clear the ball. After Otto Loewy deflected a service, the ball bounced around after a bad clear and deflected right out to Andrew Hoxie. Hoxie then ripped a shot passed Patrick Mitrovich, who looked screened on the play by a defender.

Matthew Skonicki tried to tie the game in the sixth minute as he cut back toward the middle of the field just outside of the 18-yard box, splitting two William & Mary defenders. He then took a touch and ripped a shot, but the ball bent more toward Andrew McAdams and he leaped straight up for the save.

Just short of nine minutes later the Tribe made it 2-0 as Alan Koger flipped the ball over two Winthrop defenders to Hoxie as he ran onto the ball inside the 18-yard box. Hoxie headed right to goal and beat Mitrovich near post.

"William & Mary were very deserving on the night to win the game," said head coach Rich Posipanko. "They worked extremely hard and made the most of their chances. I was very disappointed in our decision making and play the first half, especially going down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes. It became very difficult for us to dig ourselves out of the hole we were in. The second half we played much better and able to get a goal back. Had a good opportunity to make a game of it as one hit the post. We actually had the better of the game at times, but injuries also took a toll on us and we were not able to get back into the game."

Winthrop started to settle down and tried to get back into the game but made another crucial mistake and fell behind 3-0 in the 42nd minute. Roger Bothe played in a long free kick and Koger had his back to the goal so he just flicked the ball backwards toward the frame. However, Mitrovich was charging the ball and the header skipped right over him into the back of the net.

The Eagles, already playing without Stephen Nsereko, headed into the second half shorthanded as Loewy and Skonicki both had to leave with game ending ankle injuries. The first 10 minutes or so of the second half saw the Tribe miss a couple of good opportunities. Then Winthrop settled in and started to own the flow of play.

In the 67th minute, Miquel Casajuana nearly put the Eagles on the scoreboard. Michael Luk played a ball into the box, Daniel Revivo brought it down nicely and played the ball square to Casajuana, who nailed a shot to the lower right corner from about eight yards. However, McAdams made a nice diving save to just tip the ball wide of the post.

Rafael Araujo finally broke through the Tribe defense and get the Eagles on the board as he dribbled about four or five defenders before placing a nice shot into the right corner from just outside the 18-yard box for his second goal of the year.

Moments after that Winthrop nearly made it 3-2 as Cameron Alksnis ripped a shot from about 30 yards out. The shot was a tad off to the right and ended up meeting the foot of Casajuana running onto the ball. Casajuana's redirection off the shot smacked right off the left post and the ball bounced across the goal mouth and into the arms of McAdams.

The three goals allowed was a season-high for the Eagles in the first half, but the second straight game they have allowed three goals in a single half.

Both teams played a physical and clean match but combined for 41 fouls and five yellows.

It was the Eagles third NCAA Tournament appearance and they are now 0-2-1 all-time in the national tourney.