Senior Cora Nagle scored the game-winning goal just 1:15 into the first overtime as the William Smith College field hockey team defeated Susquehanna University 1-0 in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championships this evening on McCooey Field.
With the win, the Herons move to 14-7 on the season and advance to the second round where they will face No. 1 Middlebury on the campus of Messiah University. The Riverhawks conclude their season at 15-6 after earning Susquehanna’s first bid to the national tournament since 2018.
William Smith outshot Susquehanna 23-13 and held a 14-10 edge in shots on target. The Riverhawks held a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners after being awarded eight in the fourth quarter of the game.
Senior Kristen McCormick played all 61:15 in goal for the Herons and recorded a season-high 10 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter. She moves to 11-4 on the season after earning her third straight shutout.
- The first 15 minutes saw both teams trying to grab momentum of the game as William Smith held a 1-0 advantage in shots in the scoreless opening quarter.
- The Herons found their groove in the second quarter, firing off nine shots in 15 minutes. William Smith’s best chance of the half came with one minute remaining as first-year Leah Griffith fired off a shot that beat the Riverhawk goalie. Susquehanna’s Kari Schmidt was there to swipe the ball away to keep the game scoreless.
- William Smith came out strong in the third quarter, firing off five shots but couldn’t break the deadlock. The Herons played strong defensively, allowing zero shots in the third.
- The fourth quarter saw the most action as both teams pressed for the game’s opening goal. William Smith found themselves three players down after receiving two yellow cards and one green card. The Herons stayed strong defensively, forcing the game to overtime despite nine shots and eight penalty corners in the fourth quarter for Susquehanna.
- The first minute of overtime saw both teams grabbing waves of momentum, pushing for a goal. Senior Lauren Jackson came up with a huge defensive play to stop the Riverhawks counterattack and carried the ball 30 yards before dishing it to a teammate. Her efforts resulted in a penalty corner for William Smith.
- After being awarded the penalty corner, the Herons would produce all the offense they needed. Graduate Student Kate Barilla fired off a shot that was saved by the pads of the Riverhawk goalie. Barilla’s shot rebounded right to the stick of Nagle who placed the ball low past the goalie and into the net to win the game for William Smith.
The Herons will head to Grantham, Pennsylvania, to take on No. 1 Middlebury in the second round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championships. The Herons are set to face off against the Panthers at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, on Anderson Field on the campus of Messiah University.
Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel, and for children ages 3-12.