Herons Hold off Union in Liberty League Opener

William Smith held off a late rally by Union to secure a 15-14 win in the Liberty League opener for both teams teams played this afternoon in Schenectady, N.Y. First-year goalie Marina Guigli finished with 10 saves, including two huge saves in the final minute, to secure the win for the Herons.

Union's Emily McGrail scored back-to-back goals to cut the Dutchwomen deficit to one with 1:51 left in the game. The Herons turned the ball over twice in the final minute, resulting in another shot on goal for McGrail with 59 seconds on the clock, but Guigli rejected the scoring chance. After a foul was called on William Smith, Union's Paige Smith was awarded a free position with 12 seconds on the clock. Guigli once again came up with the save for the Herons.

William Smith is now 4-3 overall. Senior Kathleen Ragan led the Herons with five goals and an assist. Sophomore Katie Sipple produced a game-high four assists and added a goal and two ground balls. First-year Hannah Connolly chipped in three goals. Senior Marissa Potter scored twice and won a team-high five draws. Sophomore Rachel Hughes came away with four draws and a ground ball.

McGrail led Union (1-3, 0-1) with six goals and an assist. She also won five draws. Ciara Dudeck notched three goals and an assist. Maggie Comiskey produced two goals and an assist. Heather Fraser chipped in a goal, an assist and a game-high four ground balls. Kim Grinhaus played all 60 minutes in goal for the Dutchwomen and made two saves.

The Herons opened the game with three straight goals. Ragan produced back-to-back tallies at 1:13 and 7:31 to make it 2-0, and Dexter stretched the lead to 3-0 at 8:43.

Union responded with a 6-0 run propelling them to a 6-3 lead. McGrail put the Dutchwomen on the board after a feed from Dudeck at 8:59. Dudeck then scored a goal of her own on a free position shot. McGrail and Dudeck each logged another tally to give Union its first lead of the game. Goals by Comiskey and Fraser capped the run.

At 19:05, Sipple scored make it 6-4. She then set up a goal by Potter to get the Herons within one. With 5:47 before the break, Haley Gould found the back of the net for the Dutchwomen to make it 7-5, but Ragan was able to send home her third goal of the afternoon with 3:15 left in the first to put William Smith within one at the break.

Just 43 seconds into the second half, McGrail notched her third of the day to make it 8-6. At 1:50, Sipple fed Ragan and then 16 seconds later, Sipple set up sophomore Hayley Braun to tie the game up at 8-8. Brittany Fraser capitalized on a free position at the 3:00 mark, but Ragan tied things at nine 52 seconds later on a free position goal of her own.

Just under a minute later, first-year Geneva Calder took advantage of another free position to put William Smith on top 10-9. At 9:13, Connolly took a pass from Sipple and fired her shot into the back of the net. McGrail answered with her fourth of the day on a free position to put the Dutchwomen back within one. Connolly registered back-to-back goals 2:34 apart to give the Herons a 13-10 advantage. At 17:3, Comiskey notched her second of the day, followed by a free position goal Dudeck just under a minute later, which cut the Union deficit to one.

Potter produced her second of the day with just under 10 minutes left in regulation and sophomore Abbie West bounced a shot past the Dutchwomen keeper with 5:04 left to make it 15-12. McGrail scored her fifth of the day with 3:19 left on the clock. She struck again with 1:51 remaining to make it 15-14, and Guigli preserved the win from there for the Herons.

Union held a 38-22 advantage in shots. The Dutchwomen also enjoyed a 13-9 edge in ground balls. William Smith held a 16-15 lead in draws. The Herons were 10 for 12 on clear attempts, and Union went 9 for 13.

William Smith will be back in action when it hosts Rochester for another Liberty League game on Friday, April 5 at 4:00 p.m.


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