Connolly's 7-Goal Game Carries Herons Past Union

GENEVA, N.Y.-Sophomore attacker Hannah Connolly scored a game-high seven goals to lead the William Smith lacrosse team to a 14-9 Liberty League victory over Union on Boswell Field this evening. The result completes the conference championship tournament seeding, with the Herons securing the No. 2 spot and the Dutchwomen finishing at No. 3.

The first half was back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than two goals. William Smith (8-7, 8-1) leaned heavily on Connolly on the offensive end in the first half. She played the the Dutchwomen even through 30 minutes, scoring six times to match Union's six tallies. Thanks to single goals from sophomore attacker Kate Byrne and sophomore midfielder Geneva Caulder, the Herons carried an 8-6 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Union (9-6, 7-2) pulled within one on first-year attacker Jackie Hagopian's just over 37 minutes into the match. First-year attacker Alexandra Bird restored the home team's two-goal advantage 28 seconds later, burying a free-position chance. The Dutchwomen scored short-handed with about 20 minutes remaining on a sidearm sling by junior attacker Ciara Dudeck to again make it a one-goal game. Bird again answered the Union threat with a quick free-position goal, scoring just 40 seconds later.

Junior attacker Katie Sipple gave the Herons a three-goal edge off a Union turnover when first-year goalie Jen Hughes was called for staying in the crease with the ball for too long.

Dudeck completed her five point day (4g, 1a), scoring the visitor's final goal of the game with 9:30 remaining, but William Smith won each of the next three draws and closed the game on a 3-0 run.

In addition to Connolly's big game, William Smith got three assists from sophomore attacker Meg Hannan, a pair of goals from Bird and a goal and an assist from Sipple. In total seven different Herons hit the back of the net. Caulder also collected a game-high five ground balls. On the defensive end, junior defender Rachel Hughes produced a game-high four caused turnovers and first-year goalie Sarah Honan made six saves to earn the win.

For the Dutchwomen, junior midfielder Emily McGrail chipped in two goals and an assist. Junior midfielder Haley Gould scored twice and sophomore midfielder Jessica Farland had two assists. Hughes went the distance for Union, making six stops.

William Smith held the upper hand in shots (29-22) and draws (16-9) and committed two fewer turnovers (18-20). Ground balls were even (17-17).

Rensselaer secured the No. 1 seed in the Liberty League Tournament with a perfect 9-0 conference mark and will host the semifinals and finals on May 2-3. The Engineers will face No. 4 Vassar, which wrapped up the final spot in the tourney earlier today. Game times will be announced early next week.


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