The 15th-ranked William Smith College lacrosse team defeated Rochester 8-6 in a tightly contested Liberty League matchup at Fauver Stadium this evening. With the win, the Herons are now 2-1 overall and 2-0 in Liberty League play. Defense played a key role in the contest as the teams combined for 46 turnovers.
William Smith (2-1, 2-0) was led by sophomore Payton McMahon who registered a game-high three points on two goals and an assist. She also had a game-high three caused turnovers. Sophomore Molly Davis won a team-high three draws and senior Mekayla Montgomery brought in five ground balls. First-year Maddie Bamberger started in goal and made five saves as she improved to 2-1 on the season.
Three different players had two points in the loss for Rochester (2-2, 0-2). Kendra Jones scored a pair of goals and Emma Little and Zoe Sullivan registered a goal and an assist. Carlie Bendavid brought in a game-high six ground balls and Lucy Haggerty won a game-high five draws. Bendavid started in goal and made a season-high 11 saves for the Yellowjackets.
Rochester opened the scoring on Kendra Jones’s second goal of the season. She dodged around a defender and beat Bamberger with a bounce shot. William Smith tied the game 75 seconds later on Senior Kelsey Williams’ fifth goal of the season. Just under six minutes into the half, senior Ellie Burns gave the Herons the lead for good on her fourth goal of the season. She collected a pass from senior Rachel Yackel and fired a shot past Bendavid. Yackel added a goal of her own 40 seconds later. First-year Allie McGinty was credited with an assist on the goal. Emma Little interrupted the Heron run striking for her fourth goal of the season just before the 10 minute mark. Sullivan was credited with an assist on the goal. William Smith extended its lead to 5-2 on back-to-back goals from senior Anna Murphy and McMahon. With 16:19 left in the half, Murphy bounced a shot past the goalie off a feed from McMahon. Eight minutes later, McMahon converted on a free position attempt for her third goal of the season. Panepento’s ninth goal of the season cut the Herons’ lead to two goals. Little was credited with an assist. Two minutes later, McMahon notched her second goal of the game. Sullivan scored with 3:34 left in the half for Rochester, and Davis collected her first goal of the season to make it 7-4 at halftime.
The defenses dug deep in the second half. After 10 minutes of unsettled play, Grace Crochiere found Haggerty on the door step to cut the deficit to two goals. Fourteen minutes later, first-year Chloe McGlynn added an insurance goal for William Smith. Her first collegiate goal was an unassisted tally. The Yellowjackets answered 25 seconds later on Jones’ second goal of the game. Burns had the final chance of the game, but her shot from in front of the cage was stopped by Bendavid.
The Herons finished the game with a 22-17 edge in shots and a 24-20 advantage in ground balls. Rochester won the battle in the draw circle 10-6. William Smith was 17-of-21 clearing the ball, and Rochester was 20-of-24.
The Herons will be back in action next weekend, April 2-3, when they take on Ithaca for a pair of Liberty League games. The Bombers will host the front end of the home and home series on Friday at 4 p.m. while Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Boswell Field. Ithaca is ranked 11th in the latest IWLCA poll.