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Herons down Rochester to win Liberty League Championship

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The William Smith College field hockey team defeated the University of Rochester in the 2022 Liberty League Championship on Sunday afternoon. After 80 minutes of scoreless action between the Herons and the Yellowjackets, the winner was decided in a penalty shootout.

Graduate student Emily Leonard scored the game-winning goal in the fourth round of the shootout while junior Kristen McCormick made five saves in the shootout to secure the victory for the Herons.

McCormick was named the Most Valuable Player after recording eight saves for the Herons.

With the win, the Herons snap an eight-game losing streak to the Yellowjackets. The last time William Smith defeated Rochester was in the 2015 Liberty League Championship game which ended 3-1 in Geneva. This is the third time the Herons have won a league championship that has gone to overtime.


  • William Smith and Rochester both came out strong to start the game, battling for possession for most of the first half. The Yellowjackets outshot the Herons 6-2 in the scoreless first 30 minutes.
  • The Herons’ best chance of the game came in the second quarter when William Smith was awarded back-to-back penalty corners. Junior Sofia Pattillo fired off a shot that was saved by the Yellowjacket goalie.
  • Rochester applied pressure in the second half, firing off five shots but couldn’t beat McCormick and the strong Heron defense.
  • Rochester’s best scoring opportunity came in the 76th minute when the Yellowjackets were awarded a penalty corner. Karina Bridger fired off three shots for the Yellowjackets with the last one beating McCormick, but senior Lauren Jackson was there to save the day for the Herons and bat the ball out of danger.
  • After 80 scoreless minutes, the Herons and Yellowjackets would head to a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
  • McCormick stood tall in the net for the Herons, denying Rochester four times before Leonard converted for William Smith to win the game.


The Herons have punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. William Smith will find out their next opponent during the NCAA Division III Field Hockey selection show, which airs Sunday at 10:30 p.m.