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HARRISONBURG – The William & Mary women’s soccer started its 2015 season with a goal in the second minute and never looked back, defeating Seton Hall 5-1 on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invite.
Sophomore Sami Grasso scored a pair of goals, while senior Samantha Cordum, sophomore Rachel Moore and freshman Mackenzie Kober also tallied for the Green and Gold. With the opening day victory, the Tribe improves to 1-0, while the Pirates drop to 0-1.
“I thought we played well, and it was a nice way to start our season,” Coach John Daly said. “It was encouraging to see Mackenzie being so aggressive, and Sam was very dangerous and gave them fits. Our backline played extremley well led by strong play by Clara Logsdon. Our midfield play was also exceptional, and I thought Nicole Baxter was the best player for us today.”
Three Tribe players finished the match with multi-point games. Grasso led the way with four points (two goals), while Cordum and Kober (first career points) finished with three points (goal and assist). Sophomore Elysse Branton also registered an assist for the Tribe.
W&M’s season probably couldn’t have been scripted for a better start. On just the first shot of the year in the second minute Cordum found the back of the net. Branton sent a through ball to the right side of the box that found Cordum, who scored her first goal of the year. The tally lifted the Tribe to an early 1-0 lead.
The Tribe added to its lead just 10 minutes later. Cordum nearly missed her second goal of the game on a shot that was deflected. The deflection landed at the feet of Moore, who cleaned up the mess and gave W&M a 2-0 lead.
Seton Hall had two chances in the first half. The first came in the sixth minute when Jackie Saint John pushed a shot high. In the 16th minute, Frankie Maier fired a shot, but a Tribe defender blocked it.
However, W&M controlled the first half of play. The Tribe out shot the Pirates 13-2, including a 4-0 advantage in shots on goal.
The college found its third goal of the day just eight minutes into the second half. Grasso fired a shot that was saved by the Seton Hall goalkeeper, but the rebound deflected right back to her and she put away the second attempt. Her first goal of the season lifted the Tribe to 3-0 advantage.
Seton Hall got on the board with a penalty kick goal in the 55th minute. After a Tribe foul in the box, Amanda Gulli lined up her shot and cut the Tribe lead to 3-1.
W&M continued its offensive pressure, scoring its final two goals just 17 seconds apart to take a commanding 5-1 lead. The first goal came on a shot from distance by Kober who placed a loose ball passed a diving keeper. Seventeen seconds later, Kober found Grasso, who scored her second goal of the game, on a shot that rolled into the goal after a collision between the goalie and a Pirate defender.
The Green and Gold outshot Seton Hall 26-5, which included a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal. Grasso led the way for the Tribe with nine shots, while Cordum recorded eight shots. Eight different players recorded a shot for W&M in the match.
It was the first time since Oct. 18, 2013 that the Tribe scored five goals in a game. That night the Tribe defeated College of Charleston 5-1. It was also the most goals in a season opener since 2011, when W&M defeated St. John’s 5-0.
W&M concludes action in the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invite on Sunday when they take on No. 25 Georgetown. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. The Tribe’s home opener is slated for Friday against East Carolina. That match begins at 7 p.m.