Graduate student Kate Barilla scored in the 50th minute to lift the William Smith College field hockey team 1-0 over the University of Rochester in the Liberty League semifinal matchup on McCooey Field this afternoon. The Herons advance to the championship game at Ithaca Sunday at noon.
With the win, second-seeded William Smith moves to 12-7 overall, while the third-seeded Yellowjackets fall to 14-7.
The rematch of last year’s title game was a battle from the opening whistle. Rochester outshot William Smith 9-7 with the Herons holding a 4-3 advantage in shots on target. The Yellowjackets had a 6-1 edge in penalty corners with five coming in the final quarter for Rochester.
- Rochester’s best chance of the game came at the 8:22 mark as Bella Militi fired off a shot that beat the Heron goalie. Barilla was there to swipe the ball away for her team-leading seventh defensive save of the season.
- Senior Sofia Pattillo responded with William Smith’s best chance of the half as she fired off a shot in the 13th minute that the Yellowjacket goalie saved.
- The second quarter saw most of the action in the middle of the field with both teams trading possession. Rochester tallied the lone shot of the quarter in the 27th minute. William Smith and Rochester combined for zero penalty corners in the opening half.
- The intensity picked up in the third quarter as both teams fired off two shots each with junior Rebecca Mantione’s shot being the only on target.
- William Smith broke the deadlock in the 50th minute after being awarded a penalty corner. Pattillo sent the ball in for the Herons who collected a few passes. Graduate student Mary Kate Breward sent a ball across the arc to Barilla who fired off a shot into the back of the cage giving William Smith the late lead.
- The Herons’ goal sparked the Yellowjacket offense as Rochester fired off four shots and earned four penalty corners in the remaining 10 minutes. The Yellowjackets nearly tied the game in the 58th minute as Delainey Hebbles shot on a penalty corner hit the post.
- William Smith stayed strong defensively as the time wound down, earning its second win over Rochester this season to advance to the title game Sunday.
- Senior Kristen McCormick played all 60 minutes in goal for the Herons, registering two saves. McCormick moves to 9-4 on the season and earns her first solo shutout of the season.
William Smith will be back in action Sunday, Nov. 5 as it looks to repeat as Liberty League champions. The Herons will head to Ithaca for a battle with the top-seeded Bombers at noon at Higgins Stadium. The winner of the Liberty League championship game will receive the conference’s automatic bid to NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament.