William Smith Tripped up by #16 Cardinals in Opener

GENEVA, N.Y.-- William Smith dropped its season opener 13-9 to No. 16 St. John Fisher in a non-league game played tonight on Boswell Field at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the first and stayed in front for the remainder of the game.

It was also the season opener for St. John Fisher. Melissa Leonhard led the Cardinals with four goals and an assist. She also won a game-high 12 draws. Taylor Hughes also added four goals, caused two turnovers and picked up a team-high three ground balls for St. John Fisher.

Sophomore Katie Sipple produced five points for William Smith on two goals and three assists. Sophomore Abbie West notched four goals. First-year Hannah Connolly chipped in a goal and two assists in her first collegiate game, and senior Kathleen Ragan also recorded a goal and two assists. Sophomore Rachel Hughes picked up a game-high four ground balls and caused two turnovers. First-year goalie Marina Guigli played all 60 minutes in goal for the Herons and made 11 saves in her first collegiate game.

The Herons scored first with a goal by Sipple at 1:34 after a quick pass from Ragan, however, St. John Fisher tallied the next four to jump out to a 4-1 lead. At 6:32 Ragan made it 4-2 after a pass from first-year Emy Stratton, but Lindsey Shoales capitalized on a feed from Erin Ward to put the Cardinals back on top by three at 9:07. Connolly scored her first collegiate goal at 12:02 to make it 5-3. Emily Bryerton and Hughes notched back-to-back tallies to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead. First-year Geneva Calder scored her first goal as a Heron with 2:46 left in the first half to get William Smith within three at the break.

The Herons scored twice early in the second to cut St. John Fisher's lead to one. Sipple notched her second of the game 6:47 in and then set up West for her first goal of the night at 7:39 to make it 7-6. However, that was as close as the Herons could get, as the Cardinals scored three straight to extend their lead to 10-6.

Hughes scored back-to-back goals, with the second off an assist from Leonhard, who then scored her third of the night at 11:01. Connolly set up West, for her second of the game to get William Smith within three, but St. John Fisher responded once again with three more goals. Leonhard produced back-to-back free position goals and then Samantha Barton was also able to capitalize on a free position attempt to put the Cardinals up 13-7. West added two more goals in the last 5:11 for the final margin.

Caroline Trpcevski finished with three saves in all 60 minutes in goal for St. John Fisher. The Cardinals held a 32-18 advantage in shots. William Smith recorded a 14-12 edge in ground balls. St. John Fisher came away with 19 draws, while the Herons grabbed five. William Smith went 11 for 16 on clears, and the Cardinals were successful on nine of their 11 attempts.

The Herons will be back in action on Tuesday, March 5, when they travel to take on No. 3 Cortland at 4:00 p.m.


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