William Smith College senior Olivia Zitoli scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on Senior Day as the No. 4 Heron soccer team topped No. 16 Skidmore 2-0 in a Liberty League match played this afternoon on Cozzens Field.
With their 12th straight win, William Smith is now 12-1-0 overall and 6-0-0 in league play. The Herons also clinched a spot in the Liberty League tournament with today’s victory. The Thoroughbreds (10-1-2, 5-1-0) suffered their first loss of the season.
The Herons had a number of scoring chances early in the match. In the ninth minute, junior Madeline Buckley fired a low shot on goal after a cross from classmate Krista Longo, but Skidmore goalie, Gab Lawrence was there to make the diving save. Lawrence finished with six saves in all 90 minutes in goal for the Thoroughbreds.
In the 31st minute, William Smith took a 1-0 lead. First-year MacKenzie Smith sent in a corner kick, and Zitoli was there to drill a low hard shot into the back of the net. It was her first goal of the season.
The Herons came out strong in the second half, continuing to control the momentum of the match. In the first minute of the second half, Buckley put a shot on goal that sailed just inches over the top of the crossbar. In the 65th minute, Buckley chipped in an insurance goal. Longo fired an initial shot that was blocked by a Thoroughbred defender. Buckley was there to put the rebound into the back of the net. It was her seventh goal this season.
Skidmore’s best scoring changes came late in the second half. With 16:38 remaining, Kelsey Russell fired a free kick on goal from about 15 yards outside of the box, but Dunay stepped up to make the save. Just under two minutes later, Russell again blasted a low, hard shot on goal, but Dunay once again came up with the stop.
The Herons enjoyed a 17-12 advantage in shots and a 8-3 lead in corners. Senior goalie Chelsea Dunay stopped all seven shots she faced to clinch her eighth shutout this year. As a team, William Smith has logged 10 shutouts this season.
The Herons will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 26, when they host Clarkson for a Liberty League match at 3 p.m.