The No. 17 William Smith College lacrosse team defeated No. 19 Ithaca 13-7 in a key Liberty League contest on Boswell Field at David J Urick Stadium this afternoon. With their ninth-straight victory, the Herons are now 11-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play this year.
Junior Rachel Slagle led the way for the Herons, recording a career-high five points on three goals and two assists. It was her first career hat trick. Junior Nicki Santora, sophomore Ellie Burns, and first-year Payton McMahon also had hat tricks in the win. Sophomores Sadie Mapstone and Ellen Arena shared game-high honors, scooping up five ground balls each. Sophomore Kelsey Williams won a game-high five draws. Sophomore Olivia Hofmann started in goal and made a career-high 10 saves as she earned the victory.
The Bombers (8-4, 5-1) were led offensively by Jacqui Hallack who had a goal and two assists for three points. Danika Wagener and Erin McGee each had two goals. Hallack, Caroline Grant, and Molly Nodiff each brought in three ground balls for Ithaca. Reid Simoncini won three draws. Mackenzie Schade made eight saves in the Ithaca goal.
Ithaca opened the scoring just over four minutes into the game. Wagener collected a pass from Hallack and dunked it past Hofmann for her 10th goal of the season. One minute later, Burns tied the game with her 38th goal of the season. She beat her defender and buried a shot into the upper left corner. Slagle gave William Smith a 2-1 lead two minutes later. Her eighth goal of the season was unassisted. Wagener tied the game at two just past the 10 minute mark of the first half. She curled around to the front of the net and fired a low shot past Hofmann for her 21st goal of the season. Slagle and Santora scored fifty seconds apart to give William Smith a 4-2 lead with 13:25 remaining in the first half. Slagle’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by sophomore Anna Murphy and Santora’s 16th tally was assisted by McMahon. McGee’s first goal of the game cut the deficit to 4-3 with 5:14 remaining in the half. She bounced a free position shot past Hofmann for her 13th goal of the year. Santora scored her 17th goal of the season on a free position shot forty seconds later. Ithaca’s Bailey Herr scored a woman-up goal with 1:32 remaining in the half to make it 5-4 headed into the break.
The Bombers tied the game three minutes into the second half. Hallack converted a free position attempt for her 26th goal of the season. Burns gave William Smith the lead for good just under a minute later. She collected a pass from Murphy on the goal crease and flipped a shot past Schade for her second goal of the game. Burns completed her hat trick 15 seconds later. She weaved through defenders and fired a shot into the back of the net. The unassisted goal was Burns’ 40th of the season. Grant made it a one-goal game with her fifth tally of the season. She collected a pass from Allie Panara and slipped a shot past Hofmann. William Smith put the game out of reach thanks to back-to-back goals from McMahon. Her first goal of the game came on a free position attempt with 22:05 remaining in regulation. Following a Heron timeout, McMahon collected a pass from sophomore Rachel Yackel and ripped a shot into the back of the net. It was her 15th goal of the season. With 12:42 remaining in regulation, McGee bounced a shot past Hofmann for her 14th goal of the season. Herr was credited with an assist on the goal.
William Smith closed out the game on a four-goal run. Slagle completed her hat trick with an unassisted goal with 7:16 remaining in regulation. Three minutes later, McMahon completed her hat trick with a free position goal. Mapstone added her name to the scoring column with her 12th goal of the season. She collected a pass from Slagle on the doorstep and quickly flipped a shot past Schade. Santora completed her hat trick with 1:02 remaining in regulation. Slagle was credited with an assist on Santora’s 18th goal of the season.
The seven goals were a season-low for the Bombers, who came into the game averaging a Liberty League best 15.18 goals per game.
The Herons finished the game with a 33-18 edge in shots and a 19-16 advantage in ground balls. William Smith was 19-of-21 clearing the ball and Ithaca was 17-of-20.
The Herons will be back in action on Saturday, April 13, when they travel to Vassar. Opening draw in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has been moved to 11 a.m. William Smith College Athletics, the Heron Society, and Alumni House will host a pregame gathering in the Weinberg Turf Field parking lot.