The second-ranked William Smith College soccer team scored a pair of second half goals to defeat No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer 2-0 in an NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer National Semifinal match. With the win, the Herons advance to the national championship game for the first time since 2013.
Fans who make the trip to Greensboro can join alums, parents and friends for a pregame tailgate. On campus, there will be a watch party in the Scandling Campus Center on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The games will be streamed on the TVs and prizes will be given out throughout the games. Fans can also listen to Ted Baker and Assistant Dean David Mapstone ’93, P’21 call the game on 105.7 FM.
The Herons (21-1-1) will take on No. 1 Messiah, who advanced past Carnegie Mellon in penalty kicks in the other national semifinal match this afternoon. The national championship match will be played at UNCG Soccer Stadium at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.
This will be the fifth time the Herons have played in the national championship match in program history. William Smith has played in four national championship games (1987, 1988, 1997 and 2013), winning in 1988 and 2013.
After surviving an early flurry from Pomona-Pitzer (20-2-2), the Herons controlled the tempo of the game in the first half. Cinnah Correah had the game’s first scoring opportunity for the Sagehens in the fifth minute, but sophomore Amanda Kesler made the save. At the opposite end of the field, junior Julia Keogh had a pair of golden scoring opportunities. First, she had a shot blocked by a Pomona-Pitzer defender. Keogh followed that up with a shot that was stopped by Isa Berardo. Junior Maialen Martinez had a scoring chance in the 33rd minute, but her header just missed the crossbar.
Keogh broke through for what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 50th minute. She collected a pass from junior Amanda Adams, slipped the ball through her defender’s legs and fired a shot into the upper right corner of the cage. The goal was Keogh’s sixth of the season. The Herons doubled their lead just over four minutes later, when senior Elizabeth Moore pocketed her fourth goal of the season. Following a corner kick, she headed a Genevive Carpenter crossing pass across the goal line.
Following Moore’s goal, the Sagehens took control of the game pressing forward to keep their season alive. In the 65th minute, Kesler smothered a shot from Bria Varnbuhler. A few minutes later, Kesler robbed Anna Ponzio of a point blank chance.
Sophomore Sarah Gray nearly gave William Smith a 3-0 lead in the 84th minute, but Berardo was there to make the save.
Kesler started in goal and made five saves as she earned her 15th shutout of the season. Berardo made five stops in 90 minutes of action for Pomona-Pitzer.
William Smith finished the game with an 11-9 advantage in corner kicks and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.