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#5 William Smith downs #1 Messiah 3-1

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The fifth-ranked William Smith College soccer team scored twice in the first half as it knocked off top-ranked Messiah 3-1 in a non-conference contest at Shoemaker Field this afternoon. With the victory, the Herons are now 4-0-1 on the season.

Today’s win was William Smith’s first over a No. 1 ranked team since defeating Misericordia, who was the top-ranked team in the poll, 5-4 in double overtime in the third round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. It is the Herons’ first win over the top-ranked team in the coaches’ poll since defeating Messiah 1-0 in 2013.

Katrine Berg led the way for William Smith with two assists. Marjorie Plants and Emma Faso scored for the Herons. Kirsten Nelson played all 90 minutes in goal for the Herons and made a career-high matching six saves.  

Raegan Salamone and Ava Vert split time in goal for the Falcons (4-2-0). They combined to make four saves.


  • Messiah finished the contest with a 13-9 edge in shots.
  • The Herons had a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks.
  • The three goals in today’s game are the most a William Smith team has scored against Messiah in a series that dates back to 2008.


  • Messiah had the game’s first chance in the ninth minute, but Bella Touzeau’s shot was punched over the crossbar by Nelson.
  • In the 12th minute Brittany Laird fired a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box that just missed the left goal post.
  • In the 31st minute, Julia Berg headed a shot off the right goal post.
  • Just over a minute later, the Herons took a 1-0 lead on Marjorie Plants’ first goal of the season. Standing near the penalty spot, she chipped a shot over Salamone into the upper left corner of the cage. Katrine Berg was awarded an assist on the goal.
  • The Herons took a 2-0 lead as the horn sounded to end the first half. In the closing seconds, Berg served a pass from near midfield into the 18-yard box. Faso redirected the pass into the upper right corner of the cage.


  • Messiah had a pair of chances early in the second half, but Hannah Adair and Tahlia Lloyd’s shots were stopped by Nelson.
  • The Herons extended their lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute on a Messiah own goal. A William Smith corner kick hit off a Falcon defender’s head and bounced into the goal.
  • Messiah broke up the shutout bid in the 80th minute when Kristina Akselsen converted on a penalty kick.

“The Herons and the Falcons have an established history of classic battles and mutual respect. Today was no different,” Head Coach Aliceann Wilber said. “Going into this game we felt we had put in a week focused on growth of personal and team discipline and mentality. Mission accomplished in these aspects by the team with more to come as we turn our attention to conference play.”

William Smith will be back in action Wednesday, Sept. 20, when it heads to Rochester, New York, to take on Rochester Institute of Technology. The Liberty League opener for both teams is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.