The No. 2 William Smith soccer team cruised to a 4-0 win over No. 20 Williams College in an NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Sectional Final on Cozzens Field. The victory earned the Herons a spot in the 2011 national semifinals in San Antonio.
William Smith will take on top-ranked Messiah on Friday, Dec. 2 at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio. It’s the eighth time in William Smith history that the Herons have advanced to the national semifinals, and the third time in the past four years. In 2010, the Herons also defeated Williams (1-0) to earn the trip to Texas where they also were matched up with Messiah.
William Smith improved to 20-0-1, extending the program record for wins in a season. The Herons also set a new program mark, earning their 19th shutout this fall.
First-year Dineo Mmutla led the William Smith offense with back-to-back goals to begin the Herons’ scoring spree. In the 15th minute, senior Whitney Frary pushed a pass ahead to Mmutla who got by a Williams defender, waited for the goalie to commit, and then placed a shot into the left side of the goal.
Just 2:52 later, Mmutla struck again for her team-leading 12th tally of the season. This time William Smith earned a corner kick that junior Renee Jensen sent into the box. The Ephs’ goalie Laura Wann punched away the cross, and the ball bounced around in the crowd in front of the goal. The ball was knocked out towards the top of the box and Mmutla blasted a bicycle kick into the back of the net to put William Smith up 2-0.
In the 66th minute, senior Sarah Tarantino logged her first goal of the season. After a William Smith corner, sophomore Olivia Zitoli banged a shot off the crossbar, and Tarantino redirected the rebound with a header that stretched the Herons’ lead to 3-0.
In the 87th minute, senior Kate Redmond laid the groundwork for the fourth William Smith goal. She cut off a clearing pass by the Ephs and sent a pass to Jensen who dished to Frary who was positioned at the top of the box. Frary placed a shot into the top right corner of the goal for the final margin. It was Frary’s ninth goal this season.
The Herons limited Williams to just four shots, while William Smith recorded 14. One of the Ephs’ best scoring chances came after a foul was called on one of the Herons and Williams was awarded a free kick slightly past midfield. One of the Ephs sent the ball into the box, and Carla Nicasio put a header on goal, but senior goalie Amanda Davis was there to make the save for William Smith.
Davis stopped the two shots she faced in 90 minutes in goal to secure her 13th shutout this fall. She has now tallied a William Smith record of 20 wins this season is tied for third in program history with 13 shutouts this fall. Davis ranks second in the William Smith record books with 44 career clean sheets.
The Herons also enjoyed a 6-1 edge in corner kicks. Wann finished with five saves in goal for Williams. The Ephs finished their season with a 13-5-3 overall record.