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Herons clinch Liberty League home field advantage with 14-8 win over Union

William Smith College senior Anna Murphy had six goals as the nationally-ranked Herons’ lacrosse team defeated Union College, 14-8, in a Liberty League contest on Boswell Field at David J Urick Stadium Saturday afternoon. With their 10th straight win, William Smith is now 14-1 overall this season and 9-0 in conference play.

Today’s win clinched at least a share of the Liberty League regular season title for and home field advantage in the conference tournament for the Herons. With one game left, William Smith holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with St. Lawrence, which is second in the conference standings with an 8-1 record.

The six goals were a career-high for Murphy. Maddie Montgomery added five points on three goals and two assists. Allie McGinty logged four points on a goal and three assists. With three helpers today, McGinty moved into a tie with Katie Sipple ’15 for third on William Smith’s single-season list. Montgomery won a game-high nine draws and Payton McMahon, Kelsie Worth and Maura Smeader finished with three ground balls each. Maura Smeader went the distance in goal, making five saves.

The Dutchwomen (4-9, 3-5) were led by Grace Heiting, who had four points on three goals and an assist. Five Union players had two ground balls and Drew Charlton had four draw controls. Jenna Paszek played 45 minutes in goal and made six saves. Hannah Dubinsky made two saves in the fourth quarter.

William Smith opened the scoring with 13:16 remaining in the opening frame. Montgomery fired home a free position shot for her 52nd goal of the year. Less than a minute later, Murphy pocketed her first goal of the game. Her 41st goal of the year was assisted by Montgomery. The Herons extended the lead to 5-0 with three quick goals in the final seven minutes of the first quarter. With 6:45 left in the frame, McGinty slammed home a tight angle shot for her 28th goal of the year. Montgomery was awarded an assist on the goal. Just under a minute later, McMahon dodged around a defender and beat Paszek for her 24th goal of the year. Murphy tacked on her second goal of the game with 5:38 left in the quarter. McGinty was credited with an assist on the goal.

The Herons scored two of the three goals in the second quarter and took a 7-1 lead after 30 minutes. Murphy completed her hat trick 45 seconds into the frame. Her 43rd goal of the year was assisted by Molly Davis. Dana Nelson broke up the shutout bid with a woman-up free position goal. It was her eighth tally of the season. McMahon’s second goal of the game and 25th of the year gave William Smith a six-goal lead with 5:01 left in the half. It came on a free position attempt.

Two minutes into the third quarter, Anna Murphy bounced home a free position shot for her fourth goal of the game. Union responded 49 seconds later when Grace Heiting beat Smeader for her 37th goal of the year. Two minutes later, Anna Smith pocketed her 22nd goal of the year. William Smith rattled off the game’s next five goals, building a 10-goal lead after 45 minutes. Murphy scored twice during the run. Her fifth goal of the game was assisted by McMahon and her sixth of the afternoon was set up by McGinty. Montgomery, Katherine Murray and Molly Davis also scored during the run.

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The Dutchwomen outscored William Smith 5-1 in the final frame. Anna Smith and Morgan Adams pocketed woman-up goals during the frame. Drew Charlton scored on a free position attempt with 7:06 left in the regulation, kickstarting a four-goal run for Union to close out the game. Heiting added a pair of unassisted goals to complete her hat trick. Montgomery scored the Herons’ only goal in the frame on a free position attempt. It was her team-leading 54th goal of the year.

William Smith finished the game with a 32-19 edge in shots, a 16-14 advantage in ground balls and a 17-9 edge in draw controls. The Herons were 17-for-20 clearing the ball and Union was 20-for-22.

William Smith will be back in action next Saturday, April 30, when it welcomes Vassar to close out the regular season. Opening draw is scheduled for 11 a.m.