For the 10th year in a row, the William Smith College soccer team earned the Liberty League Tournament title. The Herons defeated Rensselaer 4-0 in the championship game played this afternoon on Cozzens Field.
The Herons, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation and were the tournament’s top seed, earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. William Smith is now 18-0-0. It was the 12th straight shutout for the Herons, and their 14th shutout this year. Junior Evie Manning and sophomore Kristina Camaj led William Smith, each posting a goal and an assist.
No. 3 seed RPI was making its first appearance in the Liberty League tournament championship match. The Engineers, who are coached by William Smith alumnae BreLynn Nasypany ’11 and MaryClaire Pelletier ’15 fall to 14-5-1 this season.
Just 8:11 into the match, Manning back-heeled her shot into the top right corner of the goal after a pass from Camaj. It was her 10th goal of the season. Manning then set up junior Lauren Kogelmann in the 24th minute. It was Kogelmann’s second goal in as many games. Manning sent a cross from the right side, and Kogelmann scored on a low rolling shot, giving the Herons a 2-0 advantage at the break.
In the 57th minute, Camaj notched her fifth goal of the season. Senior Kara Shue pushed a pass from the left side to Camaj who scored from right out in front. In the 82nd minute, senior Shay Callahan registered her second goal of the season. Senior Brie Ruane sent a cross into the box from the right side. Classmate Lauren Randaccio tipped the ball right to Callahan who sent home her shot.
RPI’s best scoring chance came in the 50th minute. After a William Smith foul, the Engineers were awarded a free kick about 10 yards outside of the box. RPI sent the ball in and found Cori Winslow. She was right in front of the goal line and put a shot on goal, but Heron sophomore goalie Veronica Romines was right there, diving on the ball to deny the chance.
Romines played all 90 minutes in goal for William Smith and stopped the lone shot she faced to earn her eighth shutout this season. Joey Lyons made seven saves in goal for the Engineers. The Herons finished with a 17-3 advantage in shots and a 3-1 lead in corners.
With today’s win the William Smith Class of 2017 edged the Class of 2014 for most wins by a graduating class with a 76-5-3 four-year record.
The entire Division III women’s soccer championship field will be announced with a selection show on NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m.