#3 Herons battle to scoreless tie with #1 Falcons
GENEVA, N.Y.— The No. 3 William Smith soccer team battled top-ranked Messiah College to a scoreless tie through two overtime periods in the first match of the Heron Cup this afternoon. The Herons earned a shutout over the Falcons who had previously not been shut out for 70 consecutive matches. William Smith is now 3-0-1, and Messiah's record now stands at 2-0-1.
The last time Messiah was shut out was on Sept. 24, 2008, when the Falcons played to a 0-0 tie against Gettysburg. The last time William Smith and Messiah met was in the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament national semifinals, where the Falcons defeated the Herons 4-0.
William Smith came out strong in the opening half out-shooting Messiah, 5-3. One of the Herons best scoring chances came with 16:15 left in the opening half. First-year Dineo Mmutla fired a hard shot on goal, and Autumn Reilly came up with a diving save for the Falcons. William Smith was then awarded a corner kick, and had another scoring opportunity when a header by junior Kelsey Hill sailed just wide of the goal.
Messiah had one real scoring chance in the first half. In the 36th minute, Corrine Wulf put a shot on goal through a crowd right in front of the goal, but senior Amanda Davis was able to make the save. It was the only shot on goal for the Falcons in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, William Smith came close again. With 6:38 remaining, senior Chelsea England unleashed a shot and Reilly once again came up with a diving save.
At the 92 minute mark, Wulf drilled a shot that sailed just over the crossbar. Mmutla had another scoring chance with 47 seconds left in the first overtime sending a bicycle kick just wide of the goal. Messiah came close again in the second overtime period. In the 102nd minute, Erin Hench fired another shot that went just wide.
William Smith out-shot Messiah 12-11. Each team earned three corners. Davis played all 110 minutes for the Herons and stopped two shots. She earned her third shutout of the season. Autumn Reilly, who came in only having faced one shot, finished with seven saves in goal for the Falcons.
The Herons will be back in action tomorrow, Sept. 11 when they play Cortland in the final game of the Heron Cup at 2 p.m.