NCAA Quarterfinal: Williams 1, William Smith 1; Williams Advances on PKs

Williams is off to the NCAA Final Four for the third time in four years
Williams is off to the NCAA Final Four for the third time in four years

Courtesy of Williams Sports Information

GENEVA, N.Y. - Senior goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill stopped four of five penalty kicks Sunday to push the Williams College women's soccer team past William Smith and back in the NCAA Division III Final Four.

Williams (17-1-4) will face Christopher Newport in the national semifinal contest Friday, November 30 at 7:45 p.m. on the campus on the University of North Carolina Greensboro. The Ephs, the defending national champion, advanced to their third Final Four in four years. 

Against William Smith the Ephs fell behind early, surrendering a goal off a free kick in the fifth minute. 

But 20 seconds later, after a long skipping pass from Sarah Kelly, the Ephs looked poised to equalize. Aspen Pierson received the pass, made headway along the left flank, and then snapped a pass to Georgia Lord at the top of the penalty area. After Lord rolled the ball past several defenders, Liz Girvan punched the ball into the goal, tying the match with her first collegiate goal. 

Williams kept the advantage for the rest of the first half, earning two shots on goal in the 31st minute that could have given the Ephs a 2-1 lead. In the second half, William-Smith won the majority of possession, with forwards Julia Keogh and Megan Barwick putting dangerous pressure on the Eph's backline. 

The game went to overtime. Again, the Ephs had to play defense and look for a breakaway. In the 108th minute, after a William Smith defender slipped on the snow, Sarah Hollinger got a breakaway and was one-on-one with William Smith goalkeeper Veronica Romines. Hollinger took the shot at the edge of penalty area, but Romines made a fantastic save, sending the game to penalty kicks.

Pierson and Rain Condie converted to give Williams a 2-1 lead heading into the final penalty kick. William Smith would need to score to send the game to sudden death PK's. 

William Smith's Jocelyn Mitiguy sent the ball on net, Barnhill dove and deflected the ball and then was mobbed by her teammates, ending a spectacular performance in which she stopped four of five penalty kicks.