Herons Edged by Union in Liberty League Semifinal

TROY, N.Y.-The William Smith lacrosse team's comeback fell just short, as Union topped the Herons 11-9 in a Liberty League tournament semifinal played on RPI's Renwyck Field in Troy, N.Y., this afternoon. William Smith finished its season with an 8-8 overall record.

Union is now 10-6 and earned a spot in the Liberty League tournament championship game. The Dutchwomen will meet top seeded Rensselaer tomorrow, May 3 at 3:00 p.m.

Sophomore Meg Hannan led the Herons with three points on two goals and an assist. Sophomore Geneva Calder, junior Rachel Hughes and junior Katie Sipple each added two goals. Junior Cat Gorman picked up two ground balls and caused two turnovers. First-year Allie Flaherty won two draws and caused a team-high three turnovers. First-year Sarah Honan played all 60 minutes and made 12 saves.

Maggie Comiskey posted a game-high five points on four goals and an assist for Union. Emily McGrail notched two goals and two assists. Jackie Hagopian added two goals. McGrail also produced two ground balls and a game-high six draws. Jen Hughes played all 60 minutes in goal for the Dutchwomen and made 11 saves.

Union struck first 3:45 in, when Ciara Dudeck found the back of the net on a free position shot. Hughes responded, scoring her eighth goal of the season on a low shot to tie it up at 1-1. It wasn't until 16:28 on the clock that the Dutchwomen found the back of the net and started a four-goal run to take a 5-1 lead.

With 8:02 left in the first after a draw by Gorman, Calder finished a great feed by sophomore Kate Byrne to make it 5-2. It was her 22nd goal this year. Just 16 seconds later, Emily McGrail stretched Union's lead back to four with 7:46 left in the first. Hughes chipped in her second of the day at 5:14 after an assist from first-year Alexandra Bird. Byrne notched her 15th tally of the year also off a feed from Bird with 1:55 left in the opening half to cut the Herons' deficit to two at 6-4. With 1:07 left before the break, McGrail struck again for the Dutchwomen to give them a 7-4 lead headed into the break. In the final minute, it appeared Gorman had scored for William Smith, but the goal was called off due to a Union foul and in the final seconds, Sipple sent a quick pass to sophomore Hannah Connolly, but Union goalie Jen Hughes made a point-blank save to keep it at 7-4 into halftime.

At 6:34 into the second half Hannan bounced in her eighth goal of the season off a pass from Sipple to get the Herons within two. The Dutchwomen answered with back-to-back goals by Hagopian and Comiskey to get the lead back to four. With 11:30 remaining, Hannan chipped in her second of the day and ninth of the season after a feed from sophomore Emy Stratton. Just over a minute later, Comiskey found the back of the net again to make it 10-6.

The Herons put together a three-goal rally in the final 10 minutes. Calder struck first and Sipple logged back-to-back goals. Sipple's second goal came off a high pass from Hannan where she was able to just tip the ball into the goal with the very top of her stick, making it 10-9 with 3:43 remaining.

Honan made two crucial saves in the final six minutes to keep William Smith in the game, one coming with about two minutes to go, but the Dutchwomen came up with the ground ball and capitalized with a goal with 1:37 left in the game for the final. Sipple had two shots on goal in the final minute, but Hughes came up with two more big stops for Union to preserve the win.

The Dutchwomen finished with a 31-28 edge in shots and a 9-6 lead in ground balls. Union also won 12 draws, while William Smith had 10. The Herons were successful on 10 of 14 clears, while the Dutchwomen finished 11 of 17.


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