William Smith was edged by St. John Fisher 10-9 in a NCAA third round game at Bill Alfond Field on Saturday. The Herons concluded their season with a 10-5 overall record.
Senior Ellie Burns led the way for William Smith with four goals, bringing her career total to 107, 21st on the Herons’ all-time list. Fellow senior Anna Murphy compiled three points on a goal and two assists. Sophomore Molly Davis had a team high two draw controls. Seniors Ellen Arena and Mekayla Montgomery and first-year Kate Risley share game-high honors with two caused turnovers. First-year Maddie Bamberger started in goal and made four saves.
St. John Fisher (17-1) was led by DeGirolamo who had five points on two goals and three assists. Mackenzie Alexander also had a hat trick for the Cardinals. DeGirolamo dominated the draw circle, winning a game-high 10 draws. Two different players had two ground balls and four had a caused turnover. Claudio Mocciaro started in goal and had 10 saves.
St. John Fisher jumped out to a 3-0 lead just over six minutes into the game. Brittany Halpin notched the game’s first two goals. On the first goal she fired home a pass from DeGirolamo. Three minutes later she fired home a free position shot. Alyssa Sabotka bounced home a free position shot to extend the lead. Following a William Smith timeout, Junior Payton McMahon put William Smith on the scoreboard. Murphy was credited with an assist on the goal. With 10:41 remaining, Burns recorded her first goal of the game. She deked around a defender and fired a shot past Mocciaro. One minute later, Alexander scored twice to give St. John Fisher a two goal lead. DeGirolamo was credited with an assist on the goal. Three minutes later, Logan Chase converted on a player-up opportunity to make it 5-2 headed into halftime.
William Smith had a pair of chances in the closing minutes of the first half. McMahon fired a shot off the crossbar and senior Rachel Yackel hit the post on a free position attempt.
Just over three minutes into the second half, DeGirolamo extended the lead to 6-2 with her first goal of the game. Sophomore Maddie Montgomery won the ensuing draw control and the Herons seized momentum in the game, rattling off six unanswered goals. Murphy started the run with 25:33 remaining in regulation. First-year Chloe McGlynn was credited with an assist on the goal. Two minutes later senior Kelsey Williams fired a shot past Mocciaro. Maddie Montgomery added her name to the scoresheet pocketing her first goal of the game to cut the deficit to one. Burns tied the game with 17:07 remaining in regulation. She then gave the Herons their first lead 90 seconds later. Burns’ goal that tied the game 6-6 came from a low angle. She started behind the cage, rolled to her right and slipped a shot inside the left goal post. Burns scored her third straight goal to give William Smith an 8-6 lead with 9:36 remaining in regulation. St. John Fisher rattled off two quick goals to make it 8-8. Alyssa Sproule and Alexander were credited with unassisted goals. Davis’ tally with 6:21 left gave the Herons a 9-8 lead. Alexander answered to knot things at nine with 4:43 remaining in regulation. DeGirolamo put the game on ice with her free-position goal with 33 seconds remaining.
William Smith had a pair of chances off shots from Davis and Williams with less than two minutes remaining, but Mocciaro came up with her two biggest saves of the game to give the Cardinals the chance to win the game.
St. John Fisher finished the game with a 25-24 edge in shots and held a 15-6 advantage in draw controls. William Smith won the ground ball battle 6-4. The Cardinals were 17-for-17 on clear attempts and William Smith was 17-for-20.
Saturday’s game was the final game for the 10 members of the Class of 2021. Ellen Arena, Ellie Burns, Susan Kowalski, Delia Lawver, Sadie Mapstone, Shayla Meehan, Mekayla Montgomery, Anna Murphy, Kelsey Williams and Rachel Yackel compiled a four-year record of 45-16. They guided the Herons to three Liberty League titles and three trips to the NCAA tournament.
Montgomery finished her career as the William Smith record holder for draws in a game (12), season (93) and career (233). She had 118 career caused turnovers, second on William Smith’s list behind Brigid Lynch ’03. She was eighth on the all-time list in ground balls with 173. Montgomery had three of the top six single-season draw control records and five of the top eight game draw control performances. Arena was fifth on the career caused turnover list with 84 and 23rd on the ground balls list. Burns had 131 career points which tied her for 25th on William Smith’s career list.