GENEVA — Sunday’s NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse game was the exact opposite of Saturday’s game.

No. 3 William Smith’s rainy, wet and slow-paced 6-5 win over St. John Fisher’s was followed by a bright, sunny and warm blowout of No. 5 Tufts University, 14-4 in the NCAA quarterfinals.

“What a great win. What a phenomenal game we played,” head coach Anne Phillips said in awe of her team’s performance. “Even though we’re Herons, we didn’t play well in the rain yesterday. We have worked on so many things that we can do, and we just had an answer for everything and executed brilliantly today. To beat Tufts by 10 is unbelievable.”

For senior Maddie Montgomery and graduate student Payton McMahon, the final game on Boswell Field was going to be special regardless of the outcome, but the 10-goal margin of victory is extra sweet.

“Just shock,” McMahon said with a beaming smile. “With graduation this morning and then trying to get refocused; now that we’re done with the whole day I am just waiting for my brain to catch up with my body.”

“This has been our goal all year: the Final Four and then hopefully a national championship,” Montgomery said. “We’re taking it one game at a time, winning, continuing to practice hard and I am just so excited. It feels awesome.”

All things pointed to a Herons domination early on. William Smith took a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the game and it was first-year Nat Daniels from a free-position shot. It was the first William Smith goal of the weekend that didn’t have Montgomery on the scoresheet. Daniels ended with four goals.

Montgomery ended that quickly with her first of the day to make it 2-0. The biggest key of a 6-0 first quarter for the Herons (21-0) was the draw controls. Seven-straight draw controls essentially handed the keys to William Smith to control the game. In that streak, Montgomery tied another school record with her 233rd draw control — that she soon broke in the third quarter — and moved into second place on the all-time scoring list with her 200th goal, just the third Heron all time to hit that milestone.

“If I am going to get those records, I’m glad its this year,” Montgomery said. “Obviously the priority is the final four and my teammates. So its awesome and a bonus but its also perfect timing with this amazing season we’re having. That’s why it’s so special to me.”

The Herons took an 8-1 lead into the halftime break. Five more goals in the third quarter and the game was a formality by the beginning of the fourth quarter.

“We shot well, we rode well, we dominated the draw; they really had limited offensive opportunities,” Phillips said. “All the pieces fit and we just had an answer for everything they tried. So proud of my players — their grit in back-to-back games, they never showed a minute of fatigue and they just played the best game they played all year against a great opponent.”

The Herons played at their absolute best. They had an answer for everything Tufts did and Tufts had no answers for anything William Smith did. Montgomery ended with four goals, an assist, seven draw controls, two ground balls and a caused turnover. McMahon finished with two goals in her final game on Boswell Field.

A 17-5 advantage in the draw circle was huge for the Herons, but so too was the Jumbo’s inability to capitalize on free-position shots. Tufts went 0-for-8 throughout the game with the reason being lightning-quick stick checking, poor shot taking and Maura Smeader, who had one of her best games of the season with seven stops.

As for McMahon, the graduate student has been a part of many successful seasons with the Herons, but none more so than 2023. To advance to the NCAA Final Four on the day of her graduation meant the world to her.

“This program is everything to me,” McMahon said tearfully. “It’s taught me so much. I love my teammates, coaches; it’s such a special group of people everywhere from communications to our coaching staff to our strength and conditioning, professors in the stands; there’s just no words to explain how special this program is and watching us grow into women; it’s everything.”

William Smith will play three-time national champion Gettysburg in the semifinal on Friday at 3 p.m. in Salem, Virginia. Gettysburg defeated York (PA) 17-8 in the quarterfinals. The winner will play the winner of Middlebury vs. Franklin & Marshall in the other semifinal.