Herons earn a spot in national semifinals with 1-0 win over Ithaca
GENEVA, N.Y.—The No. 3 William Smith College soccer team defeated No. 7 Ithaca 1-0 in an NCAA Division III Women's Soccer sectional championship match played on Boswell Field this afternoon, earning a spot in the national semifinals in San Antonio. The Herons (21-1-0) extended their win-streak to 21 matches and set a new William Smith record for wins in a season.
The previous record for wins in a season stood at 20 and came in the 2011 season. The Herons also tied the program record for shutouts in a season, registering their 19th against the Bombers. William Smith earned its ninth appearance in the national semifinals this afternoon after having the game delayed and moved to a new location due to snow.
Junior Dineo Mmutla drilled a hard shot from about 25 yards out into the back of the net to give the Herons a 1-0 advantage in the 65th minute. William Smith had earned a free kick moments early and the Bombers were trying to clear the ball out of the zone, but Mmutla was able to halt the clear, settle the ball and fire home her third goal this year.
Senior goalie Chelsea Dunay made five saves to earn her 16th shutout this year, which is a new William Smith record for shutouts in season. Dunay surpassed the mark set by Nikki Dudley in 2005. It was the Herons' 14th straight shutout.
The Bombers finished the year with a 19-3-0 overall record. Ithaca's best scoring chance came in the 40th minute. Anna Gray blasted a free kick on goal from about 30 yards out, but Dunay stepped up to make the save. Beth Coppolecchia played all 90 minutes in goal for Ithaca and finished with four saves.
Each team finished with 10 total shots. The Herons held a 6-2 advantage in corners.
William Smith will take on Capital (19-4-1) in a national semifinal match on Dec. 6, at noon in San Antonio, Texas. The Crusaders battled to a 1-1 tie with top-ranked Washington (Mo.), and advanced 3-2 on penalty kicks.