GENEVA, N.Y.—The William Smith soccer team is headed to its third consecutive NCAA quarterfinal appearance after a 3-0 shutout over New York University in the Regional Championship game Nov. 17. The Herons advanced to the final after their shootout victory over Nazareth College.
“I thought we had a great all around performance,” William Smith Head Coach Aliceann Wilber said. “The backs were especially outstanding today.”
Playing with less than 24 hours of rest after its shootout victory, the William Smith squad looked fresh throughout the 90 minutes. Playing with an attacking mentality the Herons pressed forward from the start. Senior forward Alyson Stachura (Pittsford Sutherland/Pittsford, N.Y.) nearly put the Herons up 1-0 as her shot hit the post just two minutes in. William Smith would continue the pressure, firing five shots in the next six minutes. Finally in the 25th minute the Herons notched a score when senior Maria Paoff (East Syracuse-Minoa/East Syracuse, N.Y.) headed a Kristin Falzarano (Morristown/Morris Plains, N.J.) cross past the Violets’ goalie to give William Smith the 1-0 lead.
Just under 10 minutes later Falzarano added to the lead, capitalizing on a misplay by NYU goalie Sarah Ruby (Glen Rock/Glen Rock, N.J.) to score her seventh goal of the year and put the Herons up 2-0. William Smith first-year Stephanie Gridley (Auburn/Auburn, N.Y.) put the game out of reach at 3-0 striking a shot over Ruby in the 47th minute.
Heron goalie Leah Cornwell (Wheatland-Chili/Scottsville, N.Y.) played a solid game making 2 saves in 86 minutes. A converted field player, Ruby was strong in goal, pulling in five ops on the afternoon.
This will be the Herons 12th appearance in an NCAA Quarterfinal, four of which they moved on to the semifinal round. They will play again on Nov. 23, at a site to be determined in the Northeast region.
Read the story “William Smith rolls; Herons sail into NCAA quarterfinals” from the Nov. 18 Geneva Finger Lakes Times.