Vassar Edged in Exciting Shootout by William Smith

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (April 2, 2010) -- The Vassar College women's lacrosse started Liberty League play in an exciting fashion, but came out on the wrong end of a high-scoring thriller, falling to William Smith, 15-13, on Friday afternoon at Weinberg Field.

The Brewers are now 4-3, 0-1 and will host No. 3 nationally ranked Hamilton College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Weinberg Field.. William Smith improves to 4-3, 1-0 and travels to Rensselaer for a 2:00 p.m. league game.

Holding onto a one-goal lead, 14-13, with roughly eleven minutes to play, William Smith used a ball-control keep-away strategy on offense and held possession for 5 minutes before the Vassar defense was able to cause a turnover.

Once on offense, it appeared as though the Brewers had tied the game with 6 minutes remaining when junior midfielder Sarah Warner breezed by her defender on the left side and put a potent shot on net, but the shot bounced off the post and was picked up by a Heron defender. The Brewers weren't able to gain possession again until there was just over a minute left to play, when junior Moe Byrne employed a pestering defense to cause a William Smith turnover, but the Brewers were unable to capitalize on their final opportunity.

With the score tied at 10-10 following a high-scoring first half, the Herons came out strong and scored the first three goals, two coming from first year player Melisssa Potter and the third by senior Molly Fitzgerald, which was her 20th goal of the season. Byrne was quick to keep the Brewers in the game, scoring back to back goals to keep pace and bring the Brewers within one goal at 13-12.

William Smith dominated in the opening 12 minutes, building a 5-1 lead. Vassar responded by scoring three straight goals in less than four minutes from Warner, senior Liz Pacheco and Byrne. William Smith's Fitzgerald was able to break up the Vassar run, but Warner responded with two consecutive goals, just nine seconds apart, followed by a goal from senior Larisa Lasko and yet anther by Warner to give the Brewers an 8-6 lead late in the first half.

William Smith's advantage came on the offensive end, as they outshot the Brewers 45-30 and 35-21 in shots on goal. The Herons also picked up 44 groundballs, while Vassar managed 27.

Vassar was led by a career-high six goals from Warner, which all came in the first half. Byrne had four goals and an assist for the Brewers, while Lasko, junior Allie Morgan, and senior Liz Pacheco also scored. It was Pacheco's first goal of the season.

The Brewer's also received an incredible defensive effort from junior goalie Nicole Engelhardt, who tallied an impressive 20 saves on the day, many of which came on point-black shots by the Herons.

For William Smith, Fitzgerald and Potter and had five goals. First-year goalie Jesse Wilson made eight saves in net for the Herons.

* * * *

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.-Senior Molly Fitzgerald and first-year Marissa Potter each netted five goals to lead the William Smith College lacrosse team to a 15-13 Liberty League victory over Vassar this afternoon. The Herons improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the league, while the Brewers drop to 4-3 on the season and 0-1 in the Liberty League.

Sarah Warner led the Vassar attack with six goals and an assist, while Moe Byrne added four goals and a helper.

Potter, who also picked up a game-high nine ground balls, opened the scoring with her first goal four minutes, 38 seconds into the contest. Warner evened the game less than a minute later with her first tally. The Herons responded with four unanswered goals from Potter, Fitzgerald, first-year Emily Leahy, and sophomore Rosie Scheibel to take a 5-1 lead with 18:17 to play in the half.

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