The William Smith College soccer team won its sixth straight Liberty League Tournament Championship with a 3-2 victory over Union in the championship match played on Cozzens Field on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Herons, who are ranked No. 12 in the nation, improve to 12-2-3 overall.
The Dutchwomen are ranked No. 25 in the country, and fall to 15-3-0 overall.
The Herons did not take long to score. Just 58 seconds in, sophomore Caitlyn Mitchell sent a cross from the left side of the field to find senior Renee Jensen right in front. Jensen, an All-Tournament Team selection, settled the ball and fired from right in front to give William Smith the early 1-0 lead.
The Dutchwomen earned a free kick from about 10 yards outside of the box in the 28th minute. After the free kick got sent into the box, Whitney Bickford knocked down the ball and pushed a pass to Jennifer Mansfield who sent a shot into the left side of the goal to tie things at one. Mansfield was selected to the All-Tournament team.
In the 42nd minute, William Smith earned a corner kick. Jensen sent it into the box. First-year Mason O’Brien collected the cross and sent a pass to classmate Zoe Jackson Gibson. She notched her first goal of the year from about 10 yards out to give the Herons a 2-1 advantage. Jackson Gibson earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Just 34 seconds after the Herons took back the lead, William Smith was called for a hand ball in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for Union. Jennifer Mansfield took the PK for the Dutchwomen and tied things up a 2-2 with a shot into the top left corner of the goal. Mansfield was also selected to the All-Tournament team.
Senior Whitney Frary, the tournament MVP, netted the game-winner for William Smith in the 76th minute. Frary was fouled just outside of the box, and was awarded a free kick. Frary lined up and blasted the free kick through the crowd in front of the goal and into the back of the net to secure the title as the Herons held off the Dutchwomen for the remainder.
Junior goalie Chelsea Dunay finished with six saves in all 90 minutes for William Smith. Kayla Marti, another All-Tournament pick, also stopped six shots for Union. The Herons finished with a 24-12 advantage in shots. Each team earned six corners.
In addition to the championship, William Smith earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship. The complete field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Whitney Frary, William Smith (MVP)
Jaimie Lewandowski, RIT
Sara Rothschild, Rensselaer
Jennifer Mansfield, Union
Kayla Marti, Union
Kelsey Fish, Union
Melissa Mansfield, Union
Brenna Kincaid, William Smith
Renee Jensen, William Smith
Zoe Jackson Gibson, William Smith
Nicki Johnson, William Smith