May 1, 2009

Hamilton Clips Herons; Union Up Next

from press releases

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - Hamilton College advanced to the 2009 Liberty League tournament final with a convincing 14-8 win against William Smith College in a tournament semifinal game played at Union College's Frank Bailey Field on May 1.

Nationally ranked No. 6 Union College won the earlier semifinal game against the University of Rochester, 16-7. Second seed and No. 8 Hamilton will take on the top-seeded Dutchwomen in the championship game at Frank Bailey Field on Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m. Union and Hamilton will face each other for the tournament title for the fourth straight year. Hamilton has captured the last two and Union won in 2006.

Liz Rave '10 finished with four goals and leads Hamilton with 37 this season. Anne Graveley '11 scored three first-half goals for Hamilton. Kaillie Briscoe '09 finished with two goals and recorded her team-high 32nd assist of the year.

Hamilton scored the first seven goals of the game to build an early lead but William Smith roared back with a 5-0 rally in the final seven minutes of the first half to make it a close 7-5 game at halftime. Hamilton goalie Kate Fowler '10 saved the only two shots she faced in the opening 23 minutes of play. She finished with three saves and four ground balls. Sarah Bray '11 blocked a Heron pass to cause a turnover on a Heron offensive possession with 21:40 on the clock. Josie Jones '12 intercepted a Heron pass at 10:45 in the Union offensive zone to keep the Herons at bay again.

The Continentals held a commanding 35-16 advantage in shots over the No. 3 seed Herons. The William Smith goalie made nine saves, including a handful of point-blank stops, to keep the contest close.

Hamilton, winners of an 8-7 regular season overtime win against William Smith, outlasted the Herons in the second half with another seven-goal frame. The Herons could not keep up with the speedy and deep Continentals, and managed just three second-half goals.

Rave opened the second stanza with a free position goal just 1:31 into play. Briscoe scored her 199th career goal with 24:20 to go. Rave and Bray added back-to-back unassisted strikes in the ninth and eleventh minutes of action. Bray's goal made it 11-6 and the Continentals added three more goals in the final nine minutes of action for the win. William Smith closed out the scoring with a final tally with 25 ticks to go.

Hilary Saverin '10, Lauren Sokol '12, and Bray led Hamilton with four ground balls apiece. Sokol scored her first career goal in Buff & Blue with 3:34 to go in the game. Liz Benjamin '09, Saverin, and Sokol each caused three turnovers to lead the Continental defense.

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