Herons advance to ECAC Semifinal with shootout victory – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Herons advance to ECAC Semifinal with shootout victory

William Smith College sophomore goalkeeper Nikki Dudley (Chittenango/Canastota, N.Y.) made a pair of saves in a penalty kick shootout to lead the Herons to a shootout victory over visiting Brockport State in the ECAC Upstate Championship quarterfinals. William Smith will play third-seeded Plattsburgh at Union on Nov. 13.

It was an even opening 45 minutes as the second-seeded Herons edged the seventh seed Golden Eagles 6-5 on shots and 4-3 in the corner kicks category. The Heron defense stifled a couple good chances off of corner kicks by the Golden Eagles midway through the half, while the Brockport backline stopped William Smith as it put together some good attacks in the following minutes.

Scoreless after the first half, William Smith was able to control more of the possession in the second half. Junior Katie Murley (Auburn/Auburn, N.Y.) nearly put the Herons up 1-0 as her shot sailed just over the crossbar in the 49th minute. That was the best opportunity either team could generate, ending regulation tied 0-0.

After the first 10-minute overtime session, William Smith got in behind the defense a few times but never connected for the golden goal victory. Brockport’s Ashley Ewin (Greece Athena/Rochester, N.Y.) fired a shot from the left wing in the 106th minute, but Dudley made the save to send the game to a shootout.

In the shootout, sophomore Steph Bishop (F.D. Roosevelt/Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), first-year Marisa Vespa (Immaculate Heart Central/Watertown, N.Y.), senior Debbie Minarick (Wayne Valley/Wayne, N.J.) each matched their Golden Eagle counterparts to keep the game tied 3-3. Dudley blocked Brockport’s fourth attempt by Laura Sawyer (Chittenango/Kirkville, N.Y.) and junior Kate Warner (Gould Academy/Gloucester, Mass.) stepped up and buried her penalty kick to score what proved to be the game-winner.

William Smith outshot the Golden Eagles 13-8 for the game and won the corner kick battle 14-3. Dudley made three stops in 110 minutes of action, while Liz Durfee (Williamson Senior/Williamson, N.Y.) had six saves.

The reigning ECAC Champions, the 17th-ranked Herons will face third-seeded Plattsburgh State, who beat Elmira 8-0 in its quarterfinal match, in the ECAC Semifinals at the highest remaining seed on Nov. 13. Game time is yet to be determined.