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Heron Soccer advances to Liberty League Championship match

Nationally-ranked William Smith College advanced to the championship match of the Liberty League Women’s Soccer Tournament following a penalty kick shootout with Rochester Institute of Technology at Cozzens Field on Friday afternoon. After playing 90 minutes of regulation and 20 additional minutes of overtime without a goal, the Herons booked their 20th consecutive trip to the tournament title game with a 4-2 shootout win.

Senior Amanda Kessler earned the win in goal for William Smith, making four saves for her fourth shutout of the season. Darcie Jones recorded seven saves and the shutout for the Tigers.

THE SHOOTOUT

  • William Smith shot first in the shootout and Jones made a diving stop. The match remained deadlocked though as RIT’s first shooter hit the crossbar.
  • First-year Ruth Hotaling gave the Herons the lead, converting in the second round, while the Tigers’ second shot was off target.
  • Both teams scored in the third and fourth rounds, giving William Smith a 3-2 edge.
  • First-year Shayna Straney sent the mostly William Smith partisan crowd into a frenzy with a shot that slid home under Jones, who dove in the right direction but wasn’t able to get to it in time.

FOR THE RECORD

  • With the tie, RIT’s record goes to 11-3-3. The Tigers will have to await the NCAA selection show to see if they earn an at-large bid into the tournament.
  • William Smith’s record goes to 11-1-5.

REGULATION

  • The Herons carried the play in the first half, but the Tigers did have a handful of breakouts that put them in scoring opportunities.
  • At halftime, shots were even at five apiece with Kessler making three saves and Jones two.
  • In the second half, William Smith had two prime scoring chances late. On the first, Hotaling fired a free kick that bent from left to right toward the top middle of the goal, but Jones caught the shot just in front of the line. The second saw senior Julia Dimenna put a shot toward the lower right corner, but Jones made a diving stop to preserve the shutout.

EXTRA TIME

  • Jones made one save in each OT period to send the game to a shootout. Dimenna put another offering toward the lower right corner in the first 10-minute session and Hotaling put one on frame in the second.

COACH’S CORNER

“There were good chances by both teams. It was a defensive battle most of the game. It was postseason soccer.” –Head Coach Aliceann Wilber

NOTEWORTHY

  • William Smith is unbeaten in its past 14 matches (9-0-5).
  • The Herons have played three consecutive scoreless draws.
  • William Smith has posted five straight shutouts. The last time the Herons conceded a goal was Oct. 9 at Plattsburgh, in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals.

UP NEXT

  • The Herons will host the Liberty League Championship match at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 on Cozzens Field. William Smith will take on second-seeded Ithaca, which topped No. 6 Clarkson 1-0 in double overtime.


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