Nazareth Outguns Elmira in High-Scoring Battle

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Nazareth outscored visiting Elmira 19-13 in an Empire 8 game on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Flyers had nine different players score at least one goal to maintain their lead. Junior Megan Cregan had five goals to lead Nazareth in scoring.

With the victory, the Golden Flyers improve to 5-6 overall and 3-1 in conference games. The Soaring Eagles fall to 7-4 overall and 1-3 in Empire 8 contests after the loss.

Saturday's game was called tightly by the officials, which resulted in a total of seven yellow cards. Nazareth was whistled for five yellow cards. Each team also converted 3-7 free position shots following fouls.

Despite receiving the cards, the Golden Flyers maintained the lead for more than 57 minutes of action. Junior Leah Cronister opened the scoring with an unassisted goal just 19 seconds into the contest. Elmira's Lindsay Mitchell converted her free position opportunity about three minutes later to tie the score.

Following junior Erinn Wood's goal with 23:40 left in the first half, however, Nazareth maintained its lead throughout the rest of the game. Wood's goal was the first of five consecutive Golden Flyer goals in a span of three minutes. Cregan tallied two goals during the scoring run, followed by a goal by junior Alyssa Johnston. After sparking the scoring run, Wood also capped it by converting a free position shot.

Elmira pulled to within three goals twice during the first half, but the Soaring Eagles were unable to threaten Nazareth's lead. Johnston scored her second goal of the game after Mitchell stopped the Flyers' scoring run. Following consecutive goals by Elmira midway through the half, Nazareth answered with its own back-to-back goals as Cronister and sophomore Kelsey McNaboe each had unassisted goals.

The Golden Flyers put together four straight goals in a span of 2:11 to take a commanding 13-6 lead with 3:15 to play in the first half. Nazareth's seemingly safe lead was trimmed to three goals at the break following four unanswered goals by the Eagles in the final 1:55 of the period.

During the Golden Flyers' scoring run, Nazareth's offensive balance was evident as four different players scored. Cregan had her third goal of the game, followed by a goal apiece by sophomore Amy McIntosh, junior Kayleigh Pearson, and Johnston. In Elmira's response, Meghan Pass had the Soaring Eagles' first goal, then Marissa Mongillo scored three consecutive goals. Two of Mongillo's goals were on free position opportunites.

Following Elmira's scoring run at the end of the half, the Golden Flyers' maintained their lead througout the second half. The second half featured increased defense and fewer free position opportunities for each team. Nazareth's defense also stood tall by preventing Elmira from scoring on all of their man-up opportunities. Following the four-goal outburst by Elmira at the end of the first half, the Golden Flyers held the Soaring Eagles to a total of three goals in the entire second half.

Cregan scored Nazareth's first two goals of the the period, the first of which came 5:37 into the period, and the second of which came with just under 11 minutes remaining in regulation. Freshmen Brianna Mancini and Brooke Sullivan each added a goal to stretch the Golden Flyers' lead to 17-11 with about eight minutes left to play.

Mancini's and Sullivan's goals were separated by only 27 seconds, which maintained Nazareth's momentum. After Elmira's Pass scored her 43rd goal of the season, Johnston and Cronister each added a goal to secure the Golden Flyers' victory.

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