The 19th-ranked William Smith College lacrosse team used a strong defensive effort to defeat Dickinson 6-5 in a non-conference contest at Biddle Field on March 8. The Herons caused 14 turnovers and limited the Red Devils to 11 shots as they improved to 3-2 on the season.
William Smith was led by juniors Kelsey Williams and Anna Murphy, who had three points each. On the defensive end of the field, juniors Ellen Arena and Mekayla Montgomery had three caused turnovers each. Junior Olivia Hofmann and senior Rachael Piercey had two each. Arena grabbed a game-high six ground balls and sophomore Payton McMahon won a game-high four draws. Hofmann played all 60 minutes in goal and made three saves.
Three different players had two points for the Red Devils (2-3). Ashley Conner recorded a game-high five caused turnovers on Dickinson’s defensive end of the field. She added a team-high five ground balls. Abbey Maley won two draws. Drew Yager started in goal and made seven saves in just over 60 minutes of work.
The defensive tone was set early in the game with both teams forcing shot clock violations on the others first offensive possession. On Dickinson’s second offensive possession, Montgomery caused her first turnover of the game. At the opposite end of the field, the Red Devils caused a turnover of their own. The defenses stood tall before Dickinson broke the deadlock at the 9:27 mark of the first half. Liv Yeagle collected a feed from Greta Holt and bounced a shot between Hofmann’s legs. Two minutes later, Kelsey Williams tied the game with her second goal of the season. Dickinson regained a one-goal lead on an Erika Bloes goal with 14:22 remaining in the first half. Mack Maurer was credited with an assist.
The Herons rattled off the game’s next four goals to take a 5-2 lead into halftime. Senior Rachel Slagle tied the game 2-2 with her second goal of the season. Her woman-up goal was unassisted. Eighteen seconds later, Williams notched her second goal of the game and third of the season. Murphy’s 10th goal of the season gave the Herons a 4-2 lead. Junior Ellie Burns was credited with an assist on the goal. Two minutes later, Murphy added her second goal of the game. Her 11th tally of the season was unassisted. William Smith continued to play lockdown defense in the first half and had caused turnovers from Hofmann and Arena in the closing minutes.
Dickinson made it 5-3 two minutes into the second half when Alex Goles converted on a free position attempt. The game’s next goal would be scored 22 minutes later. During that stretch, the teams traded chances but could not convert. The Red Devils made it 5-4 on Greta Holt’s woman-up goal. She took a feed from Maddy Gesner and fired a shot past Hofmann. One minute later, Williams completed her hat trick as William Smith regained a two-goal lead. Slagle was credited with an assist on the eventual game-winning goal. Needing two goals in the final 63 seconds of regulation, Dickinson called a timeout. The Red Devils’ set play worked as Mack Maurer found Erika Bloes in front of the cage to make it 6-5. William Smith won the ensuing draw control but turned the ball over with 20 seconds remaining, giving Dickinson one last chance. First-year Molly Davis broke up the clear attempt to secure the victory for William Smith.
The Herons finished the game with a 20-11 edge in shots and a slight 24-23 advantage in ground balls. Dickinson was 23-of-26 clearing the ball and William Smith was 20-of-27.
The Herons will be back in action next Saturday, March 14, when they host Skidmore in their Liberty League opener. Opening draw is scheduled for noon on Boswell Field at David J Urick Stadium.