WESTFIELD, Mass. – Amanda Adams scored a pair of goals to lead William Smith College to a 4-1 win over Westfield State University in the opening round of the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y., on Saturday
The Herons, ranked as high as #10 in the nation, were ruthlessly efficient with their scoring chances in the first half.
William Smith got on the scoreboard first, less than five minutes into the game when Julia Keogh slid a pass to Sara Olick-Sutphen on the left side, and found Sutphen unmarked for the goal. Sutphen fired a low, hard shot that went underneath Owls goalkeeper Natalia Falcone (Sutton, Mass.) as she came out to challenge.
The Herons pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute, as Keogh again created the offense, as she received a pass in the center of the penalty area, then made the critical extra pass to the left side to find Adams for the goal.
William Smith's lead bulged to 3-0 in the 27th minute , as Adams tallied again, this time off of a long right-side cross from Sheila McQuillen that hung up in the swirling winds and carried over the leap of Falcone, with Adams scoring at the back post.
The Owls generated a few quality chances in the first half. Jenn Rennich (Bedford, Mass.) delivered an early free kick on goal that was saved by Veronica Romines, then late in the half, Juliana Templeman (East Longmeadow, Mass.) took a through ball and fired a low shot inside the right post that forced a diving stop from Romines and rewarded the Owls with a corner kick.
McQuillen staked the Herons to 4-0 lead with a goal early in the second half.
Westfield got on the board in the 62nd minute, breaking down a nationally-ranked Herons defense that allowed opponents just a 0.35 GAA during the season, with senior Ashley Levya (Walpole, Mass.) tallying the goal after a cross from Bella Eduardo (Chicopee HS/Springfield, Mass.). That goal cut the lead to 4-1, which would end as the final result.
The Herons held a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal and a 16-4 advantage in total shots. Corners were nearly equals a William Smith finished with two and the Owls one.
William Smith improves to 14-3 and advances to tomorrow's second round, where they will face the winner of today's late game between Tufts and Penn State-Behrend.
The Owls were hampered today by the absence of senior back Casey Rotti (Wachusett/Rutland, Mass.), an all-conference defender who missed the game due to an injury suffered in the MASCAC Championship game.
Westfield encountered vintage Upstate NY conditions in Geneva, located on the northern edge of Seneca Lake, as game time temperature hovered around 30 degrees, with gusty, swirling winds up to 25 mph, and intermittent snow flurries during the match.
The Owls scuttled plans to practice in Geneva the day before the game with significant snow falling when they arrived, though the field turf field was clear for play on Saturday.
Westfield's successful season ends at 10-7-3 after making their seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament, all under the guidance of coach Todd Ditmar, and all since 2008. The Owls battled through the conference tournament from the #3 seed to win the league title and this season's tournament bid.
The Owls will return a nucleus for 2019 that includes all-conference forward/midfielder Eduardo, freshman forward Rennich, a first team all-conference selection and the team's leading scorer this season, as well as freshman forward Madison Dufries (Leicester, Mass.), who tallied four goals this season. Westfield should also be bolstered by the return of central midfielder Marissa McGue (North Quincy/Quincy, Mass.), who missed the second half of the season and tournament play due to an injury.