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Ithaca's Lexi Held

Division III Upset: Bombers Blitz No. 2 William Smith 16-3

April 10, 2024
Kenny DeJohn
Rich Barnes

Second-ranked William Smith entered Wednesday’s contest against Ithaca as one of the best teams in Division III women’s lacrosse.

The Herons had more than doubled up their competition, boasting a 150-73 goal differential. With one of the nation’s best players, Maddie Montgomery, on the roster, William Smith has NCAA championship aspirations.

And those didn’t necessarily end Wednesday night, but William Smith is now facing some questions after an eye-opening 16-3 defeat at the hands of No. 19 Ithaca. William Smith had won 10 of the previous 12 matchups but had no answer for Caroline Wise, who starred for the Bombers with two goals, two assists and 17 draw controls.

Wise’s prowess gave Ithaca a 19-3 draw edge, one-sided enough to limit William Smith possessions and shot attempts. When the Herons did shoot, Lexi Held was there. She made nine saves.

Ithaca (10-1, 6-0 Liberty League) scored the first six goals of the game and kept William Smith (11-1, 5-1 Liberty League) off the scoreboard until Natalie Daniels scored twice in the last 2:47 of the first half.

But the next 10 goals belonged to the Bombers, who didn’t let another Herons goal in until there was 6:21 left in the game.

Maizy Veitch scored four goals and Sydney Phillips had a hat trick for Ithaca. Daniels had all three goals for William Smith, and Montgomery — the USA Lacrosse Division III Women’s Preseason Player of the Year — was held scoreless on four shots.

It is William Smith’s first regular-season loss since March 22, 2022, an 18-6 setback against Salisbury. The Herons were undefeated in 2023 until an NCAA semifinal loss to Gettysburg.