The No. 2 William Smith College soccer team scored twice in the second half to knock off No. 12 Johns Hopkins 2-0 in a NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer sectional championship match played on Cozzens Field this afternoon. With their 16th straight win, the Herons are now 20-1-1 overall on the season and advance to their 11th national semifinals and first since 2013.
William Smith will head to Greensboro, N.C., and will take on Pomona-Pitzer in the second semifinal on Dec. 6. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. at UNC-Greensboro Soccer Stadium. Messiah will take on Carnegie Mellon in the other semifinal at 11 a.m.
Johns Hopkins concludes its season with a 17-3-4 overall record.
The Blue Jays used their size and strength to dictate the pace of the first half, outshooting William Smith 9-0 in the opening 45 minutes. Riley O’Toole had the game’s first scoring opportunity in the second minute, but her shot from just inside the 18-yard box narrowly missed the left goal post. In the ninth minute, Rachel Jackson, who had a team-high four shots in the first half, had a shot punched away by sophomore Amanda Kesler at the last second. Jackson’s attempt was targeted for the lower left corner of the cage.
While William Smith did not have an official shot on goal, the Herons had a couple of dangerous chances in the first half. Junior Sheila McQuillen crossed a ball into the box, but Caitlin Hendricks jumped in front of it before Julia Keogh could run onto the ball.
Just under a minute into the second half, Jackson found herself alone at the top of the 18-yard box and chipped a shot on cage. Kesler punched the ball harmlessly over the crossbar.
William Smith opened the scoring on its first shot of the game in the 59th minute. This time Keogh and McQuillen connected on a crossing pass. McQuillen forced a turnover along the right sideline, carried the ball into the box and passed the ball to Keogh, who one-touched the shot past Hendricks for her fifth goal of the season. McQuillen added a goal of her own in the 71st minute. She ran onto the end of the leading pass from junior Maialen Martinez and slid a shot past Hendricks into the lower right corner of the cage. McQuillen, who has goals in four straight games and five goals in the NCAA tournament, now has a team best nine goal this season.
In the 78th minute, Mizuho Obayashi had a scoring opportunity off of a free kick, but Kesler smothered the shot.
The Blue Jays finished the game with a 17-3 edge in shots and a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Kesler played all 90 minutes in goal for William Smith and matched her season-high with five saves as she earned her 14th shutout of the season. Hendricks did not make a save in 90 minutes of action for Johns Hopkins.