The No. 2 ranked William Smith soccer team survived a scare for Rensselaer on McCooey Field this afternoon. The Engineers became the first team to score on the Herons this season, but ultimately fell by a 2-1 count in a Liberty League match.
Rensselaer (3-6-1, 1-2-0) opened the scoring in the 21st minute, taking advantage of a rare miscue by the William Smith defense. Senior goalie Amanda Davis misplayed a ball right to sophomore Sara Rothchild, who converted a chip shot for a 1-0 lead. The goal stopped the Herons’ shutout streak at 851:36, 20:06 short of the school record to start a season.
William Smith’s best chance to break the scoring column in the first half was a penalty kick in the 41st minute, but RPI goalie Stephanie Vargas made the save to preserve the lead.
William Smith (9-0-1, 3-0-0) still trailed at halftime, despite holding an 8-4 lead in shots and a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.
After the break, the Herons extended their lead in shots, eventually breaking through in the 65th minute. Junior Whitney Frary used a nifty backheel pass to set up Kate Redmond’s strike that evened the match. Fifteen minutes later, senior Leah Shatkin converted a penalty kick for the game-winner.
Davis earned the victory with three saves, while Vargas finished the day with six stops.
William Smith will be back in action at 4 p.m. on Oct. 5, when the Herons travel to RIT. The Engineers will return to the pitch on Oct. 4, when they visit Middlebury.