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Herons lacrosse tops Ithaca 12-11 for sixth straight Liberty League title

Junior Maddie Montgomery scored with 4:59 left in regulation, and the eighth-ranked William Smith College lacrosse team hung on to defeat 10th-ranked Ithaca 12-11 in the Liberty League Championship Game on Boswell Field at David J Urick Stadium. With the victory, the Herons improved to 17-1 on the season.

It was William Smith’s eighth Liberty Liberty League Tournament title in program history and sixth in a row. It was William Smith’s fourth straight championship game against Ithaca. With the win, the Herons secured the Liberty League’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The entire NCAA tournament field will be announced with a selection show Monday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m.

Sophomore Allie McGinty (Rumson, N.J./Rumson Fair-Haven) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The Rumson, N.J., native had game-high six points on 4 goals and two assists in today’s championship contest. She added eight points in Saturday’s semifinal game, scoring once and handing out seven assists. With her fifth point in today’s game, McGinty became the 41st player in program history to log 100 career points. With her six points today, McGinty now has 94 points this year, fourth on William Smith’s single-season list. She needs just six points to become the second Heron to record 100 points in a season. Amy Hoover ’95 has the top three single-season outputs.

Maddie Montgomery added four points on three goals and an assist. She now has 64 goals on the season, second on the Herons’ single season-list, 73 behind Heather Dwinell, who had 73 in the 1988 season. Montgomery also had a team-high five draw controls. Her 95 draw controls this season are a new William Smith single-season record. Defensively, Molly Davis and Anna Murphy had two caused turnovers each. Kelsie Worth and Maura Smeader had a game-high three ground balls. Smeader played all sixty minutes in goal, making eight saves.

Lexi Kellish (2g, 1a), Madison Boutureia (3g) and Sydney Phillips (2g, 1a) led Ithaca (16-3) with three points each. Caroline Wise had a game-high 10 draw controls and led the Bombers with two caused turnovers. Lexi Held played all 60 minutes in goal and made 11 saves.

In a game of runs, Ithaca opened the first quarter, scoring the game’s first two goals. Kelly Mehorter’s first goal of the season came off of a beautiful individual effort that started at her own end of the field with a ground ball. She weaved through the midfield, dodged a group of defenders and bounced a shot past Smeader. Boutureira notched her 37th goal of the season off a feed from Phillips. William Smith scored the next four goals and took a 4-2 lead at the end of the frame. McGinty started the run with her 34th goal of the season off of a feed from Murphy.  Just over a minute later, Murphy tied the game with her 55th goal of the year.  Montgomery was credited with an assist on the goal. Molly Davis gave William Smith its first lead with her 28th goal of the year. Payton McMahon rounded out the quarter with her 31st goal of the year. McGinty was credited with an assist on the tally.

Ithaca’s offense dominated the first 10 minutes of the second quarter, rattling off five straight goals. Boutureira started the run with a free position goal at the 12:35 mark of the quarter. Two minutes later Wise scored to tie the game 4-4. The Bombers regained the lead on Lexi Kellish’s free position goal with 7:35 remaining in the half.  One minute later Boutureira completed her hat trick with her 39th goal of the year. The woman-up goal was assisted by Wise. McGinty snapped the Ithaca run with her 35th goal of the year. With 11 seconds left in the frame, Kaitlin Pellechia fired home a feed from McGinty for her 21st goal of the season.

Just over two minutes into the second half, Katherine Murray tied the game with her 36th goal of the year.  Following Murray’s tally, a defensive battle ensued with nearly 10 minutes coming between goals. With 3:19 remaining in the frame, Montgomery notched her 62nd goal of the year, giving William Smith an 8-7 lead. Ithaca scored the final two goals of the quarter to take a 9-8 lead after 45 minutes. Just before the Bomber’s ninth goal, the Herons appeared to take a 9-8 lead of their own with 33 seconds left in the frame, but Murray’s goal was waved off because she shot the ball after a whistle for a free position shot. The ensuing shot was stopped by Held. Phillips scored at the opposite

McGinty completed her hat trick and tied the game, 9-9, at the 13:14 mark of the fourth quarter. Ithaca struck back quickly on Kellish’s second goal of the game and 10th goal of the season.  That would be the Bombers’ final lead of the game. McGinty tied the game with her 37th goal of the season with 9:35 left in regulation. Ninety-six seconds later, Montgomery scored her second goal of the game off of a free position shot. Ithaca would tie the game on a Maddie Hall free position shot with 6:15 remaining. Montgomery answered with her third goal of the game and 64th of the season.  Her free position goal came with just under five minutes left in regulation.

With 25 seconds left in regulation, Ithaca had a golden chance to tie the game when Maizy Veitch was awarded a free position shot. Veitch, who entered the game as the league’s leading scorer, fired the free position attempt high. William Smith gave the Bombers one more chance to tie the game when they stepped out of bounds on a clear with seven seconds left. Ithaca called a timeout to draw up one final play, but it was unsuccessful as the Bombers could not get a shot off.

A tightly contested game, William Smith held a 27-22 edge in shots and a 16-8 advantage in ground balls. Ithaca finished with a 16-10 edge in draw controls. The Bombers were 12 for 12 on clearing attempts and limited William Smith to just 11 clears on 17 attempts.