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Back-to-back: Herons down #25 Bombers 1-0 for 2nd straight conference title

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The William Smith College field hockey team defeated nationally-ranked Ithaca College 1-0 this afternoon in the Liberty League Championship game to earn its second straight conference title. Graduate student Mackenzie Wodka scored the game’s lone goal in the sixth minute after capitalizing on a penalty corner.

With the win, the Herons move to 13-7 on the season and earn the conference’s automatic bid to the 2023 Division III Field Hockey Tournament. The top-seeded Bombers fall to 14-6 with the loss.

William Smith outshot Ithaca 9-8 and landed five shots on target compared to the Bombers’ four. The Herons also held a 7-3 edge in penalty corners and capitalized on its second of the day. Senior Cora Nagle was named the championship’s Most Outstanding Player after a dominating performance in the midfield.

MATCH MOMENTS:

  • William Smith came out strong, firing off six shots in the opening quarter while limiting Ithaca to only two.
  • Wodka broke the deadlock in the sixth minute after the Herons were awarded a penalty corner. Senior Sofia Pattillo sent the ball in for William Smith, who collected two passes before graduate student Kate Barilla fired off a shot that went wide. Wodka was there to collect Barilla’s shot and slip one past the Bomber goalie on the near post to give the Herons a 1-0 lead.
  • Ithaca’s best chance of the game came with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Meara Bury fired off a shot that was swept away by senior Lauren Jackson. Jackson was credited with her sixth defensive save of the season and 17th of her career, officially breaking the program record for career defensive saves.
  • The Bombers applied pressure in the third quarter, firing off four shots compared to the Herons’ one as both teams looked for a goal.
  • William Smith and Ithaca battled in the midfield for the remainder of the contest, trading possession and momentum. The Herons withstood the late Bomber efforts to close out the contest on top 1-0.
  • Senior Kristen McCormick played all 60 minutes in goal for William Smith and recorded three saves. She moves to 10-4 on the season after earning her second straight shutout.

COACH’S CORNER

UP NEXT:

The Herons have punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season. William Smith will find out its next opponent during the NCAA Division III Field Hockey selection show, which airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.