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January 22, 2014

Ex-Masco soccer captain enjoys ride to NCAA crown with William Smith

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Connerty began playing soccer when she was four years old and fell in love with the game. She is planning to play for Aztec this summer and be in top shape for her sophomore year.

“I’m not sure if they intend to keep me at forward,” said Connerty, who plans to become a physical therapist. “I’ve played everywhere but goalie in past years but mostly at midfield. This was an incredible season; it’s hard to find the right words to describe it. You strive for a national championship and make sacrifices along the way. I’ve missed so many events over the years because I had a soccer commitment.

Herons coach Aliceann Wilber founded the program and has been at the helm for 34 years. Wilber is the first women’s collegiate soccer coach to record 400 wins (480-125-54), and this was William Smith’s second national championship with the first coming in 1988.

The team beat Cabrini, 5-0, Oneonta State, 1-0, and avenged the loss to TCNJ, 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Herons shut out Ithaca, 1-0 on November 24 to earn a trip to San Antonio. In the semifinal round they posted a 1-0 victory over Capital to get to the championship game.

“Our team was like one big family, and we all wanted to win it for our three seniors,” said Connerty. “They had gone to the Final Four two other times, and we wanted them to end their careers with the national title. As one of the freshmen, I’ve never wanted anything as much as that championship for them.”

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