BR-39 William & Mary has experienced a roller coaster ride of a season, putting together winning streaks that saw them crack the D1 Men’s Soccer Top 25 and losing stretches that saw them tumble as low as BR-72. At present Tribe are on another roll, and are riding high in the CAA Tournament.
Lets take a look at just who this team is.
Last season William & Mary posted a 7-8-2 record. This year? 11-6-2. It’ll be their first winning campaign since the 2013-14 season when they went 11-5-3, made it to the NCAA Tournament, and fell to George Mason in penalty kicks in the opening round.
The Tribe are led by a dynamic duo up front in Antonio Bustamante and Ryder Bell. The two have identical scoring ledgers of 9 goals and 4 assists for 22 points. They are nearly identical in shots, as well, with Bustamante taking 44 with 26 on goal and Bell taking 47 with 22 on goal.
William Eskay (5 goals, 7 assists), Reilly Maw (4g, 4a) and Reeves Trott (5g, 2a) provide some depth to the offense and take some pressure off Bustamante and Bell.
In the net, Phil Breno has played well enough to keep William & Mary in games, securing seven shutouts in 18 starts. Breno has faced 163 shots, giving up 20 goals while making 53 saves.
The Tribe are currently 11-6-2 (3-3-2 CAA), and play well at home, going 8-2-1 when they don’t have to travel.
They lost to BR-99 George Washington 2-1 to start the season, but then strung together a five-game winning streak that saw them knock off BR-58 Coastal Carolina 2-1 and BR-57 Georgetown 1-0. William & Mary went 1-4-2 over their next seven games, but have rebounded big time since then, beating BR-103 Michigan 4-0 to stop the skid. After a slight setback to BR-13 Virginia, the Tribe closed out the regular season with a three-game win streak, knocking off BR-124 VCU 4-0 in the process.
In the opening round of the CAA tournament, the Tribe blanked No. 4 seed BR-96 Elon 1-0 to advance to the semifinals and complete their third straight shutout.
Head coach Chris Norris — no relation to Chuck — is in his 25th year with the Tribe program and his 12th as the head coach. This is a skipper with more than 100 wins, three NCAA Tournament berths, a run to the Sweet 16 in 2010, and six winning seasons in the past nine years. Norris is a former player for the Tribe, so his blood runs green.
After ousting Elon in the CAA opener, the Tribe have a tough matchup against No. 1 seed BR-37 Hofstra Friday. William & Mary fell to the Pride 2-1 on the road earlier this season, but if the team want to make it to the championship game on Sunday, they have to return to Hempstead, NY to pull off the upset.