No. 10 Nazareth Fends off Ithaca for One-Goal Victory

ITHACA, N.Y.-- Junior Joe Jacobs-Ferderbar scored the game-winning goal for visiting Nazareth with 4:23 to play in regulation to give the Golden Flyers an 8-7 victory over Ithaca in a men's Empire 8 Conference lacrosse game. Senior goalie Todd Dermody made 13 saves, including one in the final seconds to secure Nazareth's victory.

With the victory, the 10th-ranked Golden Flyers improve to 10-2 overall, and remain unbeaten in conference games with a 5-0 record. The Bombers drop to 3-9 overall and 1-3 in Empire 8 games following the loss.

Nazareth's victory sets up a showdown with East Avenue rival St. John Fisher in the Golden Flyers' next game. At 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, the Golden Flyers host the 12th-ranked Cardinals, who will enter the game with an undefeated 12-0 record, including a 4-0 mark in conference games. The winner of Wednesday's game will have the inside track to the top seed in the upcoming Empire 8 Tournament.

Ithaca scored the game's only first quarter goal as each defense stymied the offenses. Ryan Lowe put the Bombers on the board with 1:50 to play in the opening period. Lowe extended Ithaca's lead to two goals 38 seconds into the second quarter, but the Golden Flyers answered with five consecutive goals to claim a 5-2 lead at halftime.

About two minutes after Lowe's second goal, sophomore C.J. Estes cut Nazareth's deficit to 2-1 after receiving a pass from senior Mark DeCirce. Junior Kyle McLean won the ensuing faceoff and scored an unassisted goal to tie the score 2-2, with 12:25 to play in the quarter. The Golden Flyers took their first lead of the game 43 seconds later. McLean set up the scoring opportunity with another faceoff victory. Jacobs-Ferderbar found the back of the net after receiving a pass from DeCirce.

Sophomore John McDonnell extended Nazareth's lead to 4-2 with 7:02 to play in the first half. Junior Joe Valasiadis was credited with the assist on McDonnell's goal. Forty-five seconds after McDonnell's goal, junior Mike Centra closed the second quarter scoring with his second goal of the season. Centra's goal was assisted by freshman Jimmy Gaffney.

The Golden Flyers appeared to be in control of the game five minutes into the third quarter when they took a four-goal lead following an unassisted goal by junior Scott Castle. After Ithaca cut its deficit to three goals, Jacobs-Ferderbar reclaimed Nazareth's four-goal advantage with three minutes left in the third period. The Bombers, however, scored two quick goals in the final minutes of the quarter to cut the Golden Flyers lead to 7-5 going into the final quarter.

Ithaca's scoring run continued into the fourth quarter as the Bombers scored consecutive goals to tie the score 7-7. Tom Mongelli recorded Ithaca's first goal with 3:24 into the fourth quarter. Jay Lucas then temporarily tied the score after finding the back of the Nazareth net with 5:51 remaining in regulation.

Despite the momentum shift to the Bombers, the relentless Golden Flyers needed less than 90 seconds to score the eventual game-winning goal. Senior Kyle Brown set up the scoring opportunity by forcing an Ithaca turnover. Jacobs-Ferderbar converted the opportunity with an unassisted goal to put Nazareth ahead 8-7 with 4:23 to play in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers had an opportunity to tie the score after forcing the Golden Flyers into a turnover with about one minute to play. Nazareth's defense, however, prevented Ithaca from sending the game into overtime and allowed the Bombers just one shot on Ithaca's final 61-second possession. Dermody made the save on the lone Ithaca shot, then collected the loose ball to secure the victory.

The Golden Flyers held slight advantages in shots (46-41), ground balls collected (41-34), and in faceoffs controlled (10-8). McLean won a game-high 10 faceoffs while Brown secured a game-high seven ground balls and caused four Ithaca turnovers. As Dermody played well to earn the victory for Nazareth with 13 saves, the Bombers' goalie, David Gal, also played well to keep Ithaca in the game. Gal finished with a game-high 14 saves in the loss.


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