The William Smith College soccer team swept the Liberty League weekly awards as announced by the conference office Monday. Forward Maggie Speckhart was named the Offensive Performer of the Week, defender Ava Brazie was named the Defensive Performer of the Week and midfielder Ruth Hotaling was named Rookie of the Week.
The Herons opened the NCAA tournament with a 2-0-0 weekend on Cozzens Field. William Smith defeated SUNY Delhi 12-0. It was the most goals scored by the Herons in an NCAA tournament game in program history. The next day, William Smith knocked off 22nd-ranked Tufts 1-0 to advance to the sectionals for the seventh straight season.
Spekchart led the Herons with 11 points on five goals and an assist. Against the Broncos, she set a William Smith and an NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer tournament record five goals and 11 points in the game. At the time she held the record alone. Later in the day, Loras’ Ryleigh O’Brien matched her with five goals and 11 points. Coming off the bench, Speckhart assisted on a Moira van der Putt goal late in the first half. She scored all five of her goals in the second half. In 13 games this season, Speckhart has 14 points on six goals and two assists.
Brazie and the William Smith defense pitched a pair of shutouts this weekend. On Saturday, they limited SUNY Delhi to just two shots. The next day, Brazie played all 90 minutes on the backline as the Herons knocked off the Jumbos. Her presence helped keep the Herons cool on the back line while Tufts applied pressure throughout the game.
The William Smith defense has posted eight straight shutouts and 16 on the season. The Herons are third in the nation in shutout percentage (.800) and fourth in goals against average (0.29).
Hotaling had five points on a goal and three assists in her NCAA tournament debut. She set up Ava Ruppersberger’s game-winning goal in the first-round victory over the Broncos. She set up two of Speckhart’s goals and scored a goal of her own in the second half. Hotaling has played in all 20 matches and is fourth on the team with 14 points on three goals and eight assists.
William Smith (13-1-6) will head to Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, for the sectional round. The Herons will take on eighth-ranked Amherst (18-2-0) on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 1:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $6 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and $2 for children ages 3-12. Tickets for Saturday’s game will go on sale here Tuesday at 4 p.m. In-person ticket sales on game day will be cash only.