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#17 Messiah tops #5 William Smith soccer 2-1 in battle of rivals

GENEVA, N.Y.—The fifth-ranked William Smith College soccer team was edged by 17th-ranked Messiah in a non-conference contest on Cozzens Field this afternoon. With the loss, the Herons are now 2-1-0 on the season.

Emma Kirts scored William Smith’s goal, the first of her collegiate career. Amanda Kesler and Kirsten Nelson split the minutes in goal, combining to make four saves. The Falcons had two different players record goals in the victory. Ava Wert played all 90 minutes in goal.

FIRST HALF:

  • The teams played even in the first half, finishing the opening 45 minutes with five shots each.
  • Emma Faso had the game’s first chance, heading a shot off of the crossbar.
  • The Herons opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Kirts fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box past Wert.
  • Rachael Tirjan nearly tied the game in the 24th minute but her shot was stopped by Nelson.
  • The Falcons drew level with eight seconds left in the half on Hannah Adair’s second goal of the season. She capitalized on a mistake by Nelson in the attacking box and chipped a shot into the open net.

SECOND HALF:

  • Tirjan scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute. She collected a through ball from Brianna Seip and slipped a shot into the lower left corner of the cage. It was her second goal of the season.
  • Ruth Hotaling had a chance to tie the game off of a free kick in the 88th minute, but her shot from 20 yards out just missed the crossbar.

KEY STATS:

  • In an evenly played match, Messiah had a slight 10-8 edge in shots.
  • Both teams had five corner kicks.

COACH’S CORNER:
“We wanted to grow from last weekend,” Head Coach Aliceann Wilber said. “I have nothing but great things to say about the press and the hard work our team did in the first 45 minutes until the last eight seconds. That’s William Smith soccer. Messiah is always a great opponent and they are always going to play to the very end and they showed that with the dagger goal at the end of the first half, but that’s what they do so well.”

“We are improving every game,” Wilber said. “I think it’s been good for us to have the quality of opponents we’ve had these last two games.”

UP NEXT:
William Smith will be back in action Wednesday, Sept. 14, when it hits the road to take on Geneseo. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

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