William Smith junior Olivia Zitoli notched the game-winner for the Heron soccer team in the 79th minute to secure a 1-0 victory over visiting RIT in a Liberty League match played on Cozzens Field on Wednesday, October 3. William Smith is now 8-2-1 overall and 3-1-0 in league play.
The Tigers fall to 6-5-0 and are now 1-2-0 in conference play after their second straight league loss. Heron junior keeper, Chelsea Dunay, finished with five saves to secure her fifth shutout this fall.
After a scoreless, back-and-forth first 45 minutes, each team had a number of scoring opportunities in the second half. Just 5:07 into the second stanza, RIT’s Elizabeth May blasted a shot on goal, but Dunay was there for the diving takeaway. In the 63rd minute, senior Renee Jensen sent a William Smith corner kick into the box and found Zitoli, but her header went just wide of the left post.
The Heron offense did not let up. With 12 minutes left in the match, Jensen fired a shot that banged off the left post. Sophomore Brenna Kincaid collected the rebound and fired on goal, but the Tiger keeper, Amanda Murray, made the stop.
Seconds later, Zitoli broke through for the Herons. With just over 11 minutes remaining, Jensen sent another William Smith corner to Zitoli on the back post. The cross took one hop and then Zitoli sent the ball through the crowd in front of the goal and into the back of the net. It was her second tally this season.
The Tigers had an opportunity to net the equalizer with just over two minutes left in regulation. After a foul on the Herons, Jackie Jacobson lofted a free kick for RIT into the box. Quincey Ornellas was right in front and tipped the ball, but Dunay made the save. The Tigers also earned a corner kick in the final minute, but the RIT attempt was punched away by Dunay to preserve the William Smith shutout.
The Herons held a 17-6 lead in shots and a 4-3 edge in corners. Murray played all 90 minutes in goal for the Tigers and finished with eight saves.
William Smith will be back in action on Saturday, October 6, when it hosts St. Lawrence for another Liberty League match at 3 p.m.