Nazareth Falls to Ithaca in Empire 8 Semifinals

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Ithaca built a 9-1 first-half lead against visiting Nazareth Saturday and the Bombers went on to take a 13-8 victory over the Golden Flyers in the semifinals of the Empire 8 Conference Tournament for women's lacrosse.

Ithaca's victory avenged an earlier defeat in which the Golden Flyers handed the Bombers their only regular-season loss in conference play, 12-11, on April 24. The Bombers will host the conference championship game Sunday at 12:00 p.m. against the winner of Saturday's second semifinal game between Stevens and RIT. Nazareth ends its season at 10-6 overall.

Nazareth's Nora Davis (Bishop Ludden/Syracuse, NY) scored the first goal of the game on a free-position shot just 1:12 into the game, but Ithaca answered with nine straight goals to take a commanding advantage. Davis scored again with 3:35 left in the half to make it a 9-2 score at halftime.

Ithaca's Nicole Borisenok scored four goals in the first half to pace the Bombers. Catherine Hurley added a goal and an assist.

Nazareth staged a mini rally in the second half as the Golden Flyers used a three-goal surge to draw within 11-6 with 12:55 left. Senior Jennifer Young (Marcellus/Marcellus, NY) scored twice in that stretch and Michelle Cook (Waterloo, NY) added a free-position goal. Ithaca, however, regained its seven-goal cushion on a pair of goals from Ali DeCirce, who put the game out of reach with 5:24 to go.

Alyssa Johnston (Canandaigua) and Kristine Olijnyk (Webster Thomas) each scored for Nazareth in the closing minutes to complete the scoring.

Ithaca had advantages in shots (36-19) and draw controls (13-10). Johnston had five ground balls for Nazareth and Davis had three draw controls in addition to three goals. Senior goalie Ann Sessler (Cazenovia, NY) had 14 saves. Ithaca's Courtney Dowell had eight saves.


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