The William Smith College field hockey team captured its 10th Liberty League Championship, defeating the 19th-ranked University of Rochester 3-1 on McCooey Field on Saturday, Nov. 3. Senior Annie Kietzman scored the game-winning goal and was named Tournament MVP.
The Herons (16-3) had an intense and focused look all afternoon. In the 13th minute, Kietzman gave the tournament’s top seed a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Junior Melanie O’Connor, an All-Tournament selection, dribbled into the circle and fed Kietzman, who, from 4 yards off the right post, laced a shot into the cage for her team-leading 17th goal of the season.
Junior Margaret McConnell, another All-Tournament selection, gave William Smith a two-goal cushion just 2:30 before halftime. In what might be the goal of the year for the Herons, she wove through traffic, spun off a defender near the top of the circle, lost her footing near the penalty spot and, prone on the turf, fired a shot into the lower right corner for her ninth goal of the year.
William Smith led 2-0 at halftime and held a 4-3 edge in shots. Rochester (16-5) took all four penalty corners in the opening 35 minutes.
After the break, sophomore Caitlin Moran made it a 3-0 lead in the 47th minute, rifling home her own rebound from the left slot.
Rochester broke up the shutout in the 65th minute. Junior Lindsey Randall sent a long cross along the right baseline that classmate Katie Flaschner deflected inside the far post for her 10th goal of the season. Both Randall and Flaschner earned All-Tournament accolades.
That was all the offense the Yellowjackets could muster against sophomore goalie Catherine Hare. She finished with six saves and earned All-Tournament honors.
Junior goalie Madison Wagner made four saves for Rochester. She recorded 14 stops in the tournament, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team.
In addition to the championship, William Smith earns an automatic bid into the 24-team NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship. The complete field will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 10:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Annie Kietzman, William Smith (MVP)
Dani DeGregory, Skidmore
Sarah Dixon, Rochester
Holly Dupuis, Rensselaer
Katie Flaschner, Rochester
Catherine Hare, William Smith
Sara Helmer, William Smith
Margaret McConnell, William Smith
Melanie O’Connor, William Smith
Lindsey Randall, Rochester
Madison Wagner, Rochester