William-Smith Herons fall to Messiah in semis

SAN ANTONIO – Top-ranked Messiah College defeated the No. 9 William Smith soccer team 4-0 tonight in an NCAA Division III semifinal played at Blossom Soccer Stadium. The Herons wrapped up their season with an 18-3-3 overall record.This year’s Herons are the sixth William Smith team to record 18 wins in a season, the program’s high water mark. The Falcons ended the Heron’s 13-game unbeaten streak, and are now 24-0-0 overall. William Smith came out aggressively, attacking for much of the opening 10 minutes, but could not break through the Messiah defense for a shot on goal. The Falcons opened the scoring in the 16th minute when sophomore Alex Brandt scored an unassisted goal. It was the only goal of the opening half.In the 55th minute, senior Amanda Naeher gave Messiah some breathing room with an unassisted strike that put the Falcons up 2-0.With about 14 minutes remaining, William Smith was awarded a corner kick. The Herons pushed nearly everyone into the box in an effort to get on the scoreboard. That opened the door to a Messiah counterattack. First-year Ali Rogers found the back of the net off an assist from sophomore Rachel Scheibeler.Rogers scored again in the 86th minute, assisted by junior Rachel Loya, for the final margin.William Smith had an opportunity to score a little over three minutes into the second half. Senior BreLynn Nasypany broke through the Messiah defense, beating out a defender, and fired a shot on goal. The Falcons’ junior goalie Autumn Reilly made the save. She turned aside a total of three shots.Nasypany wrapped up her Heron career ranked second all-time with 138 points. She is also second with 53 career goals and tied for seconds with 32 career assists. Nasypany’s team-leading 13 assists and 49 points this year are new Heron records, while her 18 goals this season tie her with three other William Smith players for third on the goals in a season list. With a little under seven minutes remaining, junior Leah Shatkin put a shot on goal, but Reilly was there once again to make the save. Messiah held a 10-4 advantage in shots, and each team recorded three corner kicks.Junior goalie Amanda Davis recorded three saves. She finished the season with a 17-3-3 record, tying the William Smith record for wins in a season.

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