On Sunday, William Smith College lacrosse won their fourth straight Liberty League Tournament title, advancing the team to the second round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship. William Smith is making their 20th overall NCAA tournament appearance. As the host team, the Heron’s will play on Boswell Field on Sunday, May 12 at 1 p.m.
Herons will welcome Bowdoin to Boswell Field at David J Urick Stadium after both teams were awarded first round byes. The Herons are 17-2 and earned the Liberty League’s automatic bid into the 42-team field. William Smith is riding a 15-game win streak into the tournament. The Herons’ 17 wins this season are second most in program history behind the 2017 team that won 20 games and reached the quarterfinals of that year’s NCAA tournament. William Smith is eighth in the nation in winning percentage (.895) and 14th in scoring defense (6.79 gpg).
Individually, the Herons are led by sophomore Ellie Burns’ 53 goals and 65 points. Junior Nicki Santora is second on the team with 31 goals. Junior Rachel Slagle leads the team with 28 assists, tied for 10th on William Smith’s single season assists list. Sophomore Mekayla Montgomery has a team-high 57 ground balls, 41 caused turnovers and 91 draws. Fellow sophomore Ellen Arena is right behind her with 52 ground balls and 32 caused turnovers. Sophomore Olivia Hofmann has played a majority of the minutes in goal. She is 11-0 with a 6.34 goals against average and a .546 save percentage. The Liberty League Tournament’s Most Valuable Player is sixth in the nation in GAA and 12th in save percentage.
Bowdoin earned one of 11 at-large bids into the tournament. The Polar Bears are 9-7 this season and were edged by Amherst 12-9 in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament. Bowdoin enters the NCAA fray for the second straight year and the eighth time in program history. The Polar Bears advance to the title game in 2011.
Bowdoin is led by a trio of players who have 40-plus goals and 50-plus points this season. Katie Miller leads the way with 55 goals and 64 points. Eliza Denious is right behind her with 46 goals and 59 points. Fiona Bundy rounds out the group with 40 goals and 14 assists for 54 points. Kara Finnerty has a team best 25 assist and 78 draws. Caroline Maxwell has a team best 25 caused turnovers and 29 ground balls. Erin Morrissey has played a majority of the minutes in goal. She is 8-6 with a 10.50 GAA and a .436 save percentage.
Sunday’s game will be the fifth meeting between the two teams. Bowdoin holds a 3-1 edge in the series after winning three consecutive meetings. The previous four meetings were held in Florida.
Fans unable to make it to Boswell Field can follow the action online with HWS All-Access Video and Live Stats. The game will be broadcast on WHWS-FM (105.7 in Geneva).
Tickets will be $6 for general admission, $3 for senior citizens, military personnel and students, and $2 for children ages 3-12. Children under three years old get in free. HWS students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with a valid HWS ID compliments of the Heron Society.