No. 11 Nazareth Hands No. 10 St. John Fisher First Loss

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Senior Mark DeCirce (Binghamton HS/Binghamton, NY) scored a game-high four goals, including the game-winning goal in the third quarter, to lead host Nazareth to a 14-10 victory over St. John Fisher in a men's Empire 8 Conference lacrosse game. The 14 goals that the Golden Flyers' offense produced are the most that the Cardinals have allowed in a game this season.

Wednesday's game featured a matchup between nationally ranked teams, as St. John Fisher and Nazareth entered the game ranked 10th and 11th, respectively, in Division III. With the victory, the Golden Flyers improve to 11-2 overall, and Nazareth remains unbeaten conference games with a 6-0 record.

The Golden Flyers, meanwhile, hand St. John Fisher its first loss of the season. The Cardinals drop to 12-1 overall and 4-1 in Empire 8 contests. The victory also puts Nazareth on the inside track for the top seed in the upcoming Empire 8 Tournament, which will be played May 7th and 9th.

The game featured a wild first half in which each team tallied eight goals. Fisher's Kyle Denhoff put the Cardinals on the board first 2:24 into the first quarter. The Golden Flyers answered with back-to-back goals separated by just 1:06. Senior Kurt Detwiler (Webster Thomas HS/Webster, NY) scored Nazareth's first goal 4:54 into the period after receiving a pass from junior Joe Jacobs-Ferderbar (Orchard Park HS/Orchard Park, NY). Detwiler's goal was followed by DeCirce's first goal of the game, which was unassisted.

After Fisher's Jeff Price found the back of the Nazareth net, junior Kyle McLean (Bayport-Bluepoint HS/ Bayport, NY) answered to reclaim Nazareth's one-goal lead, 3-2, midway through the quarter. Sophomore C.J. Estes (Hebron Academy/ Medfield, MA) was credited with an assist on McLean's goal as he found McLean with a well-timed pass.

The Cardinals tallied the next three goals, spanning 3:36, to take a 5-3 lead with 2:47 left in the opening quarter. Jacobs-Ferderbar cut the Golden Flyers' deficit to one goal in the final seconds of the quarter with an outstanding individual effort as he somehow got a shot past the Cardinals' goalie, Jon Cortina, after working to dodge around the Fisher defender.

After receiving a pass from Estes, sophomore John McDonnell (Fairport HS/Fairport, NY) tied the game 2:27 into the second quarter. The tie was short lived though as the Cardinals struck again for three straight goals to take an 8-5 lead with 7:33 remaining in the half.

Connor Henderson scored two of the three goals, sandwiched around a goal by Ryan Schmidt. Fisher's offense struck quickly in the first half. Henderson's goals and the goal by Schmidt were separated by less than three minutes.

The Golden Flyers' defense, however, settled and allowed the Cardinals just two goals throughout the remainder of the game. In fact, the Nazareth defense allowed Fisher just 11 shots during the entire second half. Senior Todd Dermody (Newfield HS/Selden, NY) recorded three saves in the final 30 minutes, including a sprawling save where dived from the ground to block the Cardinals' shot.

Just 12 seconds after Henderson's second goal, DeCirce answered with his second goal of the game, which was assisted by junior R.J. Gringeri (Geneva HS/Geneva, NY) after Gringeri won the faceoff. About a minuted later, Jacobs-Ferderbar cut Nazareth's deficit to one goal, 8-7, with an unassisted goal.

With 4:07 to play before halftime, junior Mike Centra (Jamesville-DeWitt/DeWitt, NY) used a screen to beat Cortina to tie the score 8-8. Centra's goal was assisted by freshman Jimmy Gaffney (Hilton HS/Hilton, NY). Each team had the ball in the final minutes of the quarter, but neither team's defense allowed the offenses to score before halftime.

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