Top-Seeded Ithaca Runs by Golden Flyers in E8 Tourney

ITHACA, N.Y. Top-seeded and 20th-ranked Ithaca (13-3) upended fourth-seeded Nazareth (6-9), 14-4, in the semifinal round of the Empire 8 Championship Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Despite a slow start, the Bombers gained momentum to take a 5-2 lead at the break. The Bombers opened the second with seven straight scores to propel into the championship game. Nazareth netted back-to-back scores for a 12-4 score, before Ithaca tallied the game's final two.

Junior Tracy Rivas (East Meadow/East Meadow) had a hat trick and two assists to lead the Bombers and launch into second all-time in program history with 78 season points. Junior Nikki Dahl (Columbus, Ohio/The Wellington School) chipped in a trio of her own, while junior Kim Armbruster (Boonton, N.J./Montville) and senior Nicole Borisenok (Watervliet/Albany Academy for Girls) each had a pair of scores and one assist.

Rivas led the game with six ground balls and junior Kaitlyn Hoffay (Ithaca/Ithaca) scooped up four. Sophomore Jenna Marchinetti (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) had a Bomber-best three draw controls.

The Bombers outshot Nazareth, 33-14, and held a 31-24 advantage in ground balls, while both squads won 10 draws apiece.

Borisenok opened all scoring with one of four free position goals for the Bombers. Dahl backed it for a 2-0 lead, before Nazareth brought action within one. Rivas reinstated the two-goal lead before Armbruster used a Becky Guzzo (Baldwinsville/C.W. Baker) feed for a 4-1 lead at the 11-minute mark. Nazareth netted its second at 4:40, but Armbruster struck again on a Borisenok pass to give the Bombers a 5-2 edge at intermission.

Dahl opened the second stint with the first of seven straight Ithaca scores. Junior Michelle Avery (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon), Rivas, Borisenok and Dahl combined for five goals in a matter of 4:15. Rivas found senior Racquel Lividini (Mamaroneck/Mamaroneck) at the 15-minute mark for a 12-2 lead and a running clock. Nazareth managed a pair of goals to bring action to 12-4, but junior Sam Whitney (Rye, N.H./Portsmouth) and freshman Emily Peters (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) went unassisted for the Bombers to close out action, 14-4.

Ithaca, who has three Empire 8 titles to its name, fell to Stevens in the 2011 championship, 10-9.

The Bombers will face the winner of second-seeded St. John Fisher and third-seeded Stevens in the title game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

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ITHACA, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Ithaca scored the first seven goals of the second half Saturday to break open a close game as the host Bombers went on to take a 14-4 victory over fourth-seeded Nazareth in a first-round game of the Empire 8 Conference Tournament.

Ithaca, ranked 20th nationally, improved to 13-3 overall, while the Golden Flyers finish their season at 6-9 overall. Ithaca will play again Sunday for the conference title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Bombers will play the winner of the second first-round match-up between second-seeded St. John Fisher and third-seeded Stevens.

Against Nazareth, the Bombers scored the first two goals of the game, but Nazareth stayed close behind first-half goals by Megan Cregan and Brooke Sullivan. The score was 4-2 after Sullivan scored unassisted with 4:40 left in the first half. Ithaca, however, got a goal from Kim Armbruster about a minute later to go up 5-2 and then scored seven straight to open the second half to build a commanding 12-2 advantage.

Nazareth goals by Alyssa Johnston (her 40th of the season) and Amy McIntosh inerrupted the scoring run, but Ithaca closed the game with goals by Sam Whitney and Emily Peters to create the 10-goal margin of victory.

Tracy Rivas and Nikki Dahl each scored three goals for Ithaca while Armbruster and Nicole Borisenok had two goals apiece. Ithaca had a 33-14 edge in shots and a 31-24 advantage in ground balls. Sophomore Tara Prosak started in goal for Nazareth and made 12 saves.


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