William Smith Herons Are National Champions!

Twenty-five years after William Smith won its first women’s soccer championship, the Herons did it again Saturday winning their 23 game in a row and claiming the national championship by beating Trinity University 2-0.
The team and their coaches returned home to Geneva Sunday night with a police escort and were greeted by a couple of hundred students, college officials, staff and friends.

HWS Communications News Release-
The William Smith College soccer team defeated Trinity University 2-0 to win the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer National Championship this afternoon on Toyota Field in San Antonio. It’s the second national championship in Heron soccer history.

The Herons capped their historic season with a 23-1-0 overall record. William Smith posted program records for wins in a season with 23 and shutouts in a season with 21. The Herons did not allow a single goal in all six NCAA tournament victories, and allowed just six goals all season. William Smith has earned 23 straight victories and 16 straight shutouts. The Herons’ shutout streak spanned 1,472:07, another school record.

It’s the 480th career win for William Smith Soccer Head Coach Aliceann Wilber, the winingest coach in Division III women’s soccer, and this national championship victory comes 25 years after the Herons’ only other national championship. William Smith defeated UC San Diego 1-0 in triple overtime for the title in 1988.
Junior Madeline Buckley scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 11th minute and junior Krista Longo added an insurance goal in the second half. Senior goalie Chelsea Dunay made a season-high nine saves to secure her William Smith season record 18th shutout this year.

Dunay, who earned a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament team, also holds the Heron season record with 23 victories in goal this year. Senior defender Olivia Zitoli, first-year forward Kara Shue, sophomore midefielder Zoe Eth, and senior forward Krista Longo joined Dunay to represent William Smith on the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. Zitoli was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Longo was selected the Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

The Herons gave second-ranked Trinity its first loss this season. The Tigers finished the year with a 25-1-2 overall record.

Just 10:22 into the match Buckley gave William Smith a 1-0 advantage. Shue pushed a pass from the left side to find Buckley who fired home her shot from right out in front. It was Buckley’s team-leading 10th goal this season, and Shue’s team-high 11th assist this year.