Ithaca Defeats Utica, Finishes Conference Play at 7-0

ITHACA, N.Y. Ithaca (12-3, 7-0 Empire 8) defeated visiting Utica (8-6, 3-4 Empire 8), 21-3, on Saturday at Higgins Stadium to end regular-season conference play with a perfect 7-0 record. The top-seeded Bombers will host the Empire 8 tournament on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6.

The Bombers, who also went 7-0 in conference play during the 2004 season, have won nine straight games. Ithaca last won nine consecutive during the 2001 campaign.

Ithaca jumped out to a commanding 6-0 lead before the Pioneers broke the silence at 15:44. The Bombers put away seven unanswered to lead, 13-1 at intermission. Utica brought it to 14-2 at the 23:42 mark of the latter half, before Ithaca scored four more. The Pioneers scored their final goal at 11:14, though it was a trio of Bomber scores that finalized all scoring, 21-3.

Junior Tracy Rivas (East Meadow/East Meadow) netted a game-high five goals and added two assists, while seniors Nicole Borisenok (Watervliet/Albany Academy for Girls) and Racquel Lividini (Mamaroneck/Mamaroneck) each tallied hat tricks. Lividini added two assists and Borisenok one. The Bombers got a pair of scores each from juniors Kim Armbruster (Boonton, N.J./Montville), Nikki Dahl (Columbus, Ohio/The Wellington School) and Kaitlyn Hoffay (Ithaca/Ithaca) and freshman Niki Standera (Penfield/Penfield), who tied her career-high. Dahl added two assists and Armbruster dished out one.

Junior Michelle Avery (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon) and freshman Emily Peters (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) recorded one goal apiece, while freshman Natalie Lang (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) and Molly Fischer (Aquinnah, Mass./Martha's Vineyard) were each credited with an assist.

Hoffay hit her career-high with five ground balls, while Borisenock collected four and Fischer three. Rivas won a career-best six draw controls and Dahl won five, while Avery forced a game-high two caused turnovers.

Ithaca led the shot count, 38-7, held a 30-13 advantage in ground balls and won 20 of 25 draw controls.

The top-seeded Bombers will face fourth-seeded Nazareth on Saturday, May 5 at 11:00 a.m. in an Empire 8 Championship Tournament semifinal.


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