William & Mary battled back from a first-half deficit and scored three goals in a span of 11 minutes in the second half on the way to a 4-1 exhibition win over Longwood Monday evening at Martin Family Stadium.
The William & Mary brother duo of Jackson and William Eskay combined for two goals and two assists, including the eventual game-winner in which William fed to an open Jackson in front of the net. Longwood’s lone goal came from newcomer Finlay Wyatt, who scored in the first half on an assist from senior Zach Crandall.
Longwood controlled the game early, holding a 1-0 lead through the first period, but the Tribe came out firing in the second half and scored in the 49th, 52nd and 59th minutes to claim the lead. The Lancers controlled the ball through the majority of the first half, but it was a different story in the second period as William & Mary outshot Longwood 9-3 over the final 45 minutes.
The first half was all Longwood from the start, as the Lancers did not allow the Tribe to take a shot until over 30 minutes into the game. The defensive stranglehold gave Longwood newcomer Wyatt all the opportunity to score his first goal of the preseason at the 18:34 mark and put the Lancers ahead 1-0. Wyatt, a sophomore transfer from VCU who started both of Longwood’s exhibition contests, found an opening in front of the net, fielded a pass from Crandall and fired it into the lower right side of the net.
Longwood maintained control of the ball through the rest of the half, and sophomore goalkeeper Carlos Canas fended off William & Mary’s two lone shots on goal.
However, the second half saw a different William & Mary team take the field as an aggressive Tribe needed less than seven minutes to erase Longwood’s lead. William & Mary tied the game at 48:04 when Chris Albiston crossed to William Eskay, who punched it into the middle of the net to knot the score at 1-1. Less than four minutes later, William paid it forward to his older brother, Jackson, finding him on a cross that resulted in the eventual game-winner.
At 58:55 William repaid the favor to Albiston, finding his teammate on the left side of the box. Albiston sent his shot back across the goal into the right side of the net to put the Tribe up 3-1.
Longwood found some momentum in the 66th minute and found lanes for back-to-back shots, but Wyatt’s first attempt was blocked and a corner kick from Jonathan Majin that opened up Mike Durr resulted in a shot that sailed wide.
The deficit stayed at 3-1 until the 88:11 mark when Graham Guidry sealed the win with William & Mary’s fourth goal. That final score came against Longwood goalkeeper Carl Carpenter, who surrendered his first goal in 36 minutes of preseason play.
Longwood finishes the preseason 0-1-1 with a 2-2 tie against UNC Wilmington. The Lancers open the 2014 season at VMI this Saturday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m. in Lexington, Va. The Lancers then return to their home field at the Athletics Complex to host Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m.