Rivas Nets 200th Point as #13 Ithaca Wins at Stevens

HOBOKEN, N.J. (March 29, 2013) Stevens dropped its Empire 8 opener to No. 13 Ithaca College Friday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J.

The game was low-scoring throughout with both defenses shining, limiting the attack's chances and both offenses methodically looking for opportunities to score.

The Bombers tallied the first goal 5:56 into the game when senior midfielder Nikki Dahl (Columbus, Ohio) found sophomore midfielder Molly Fischer (Aquinnah, Mass.) for a tally. The guests edge went to 2-0 when senior attack Tracy Rivas (East Meadow, N.Y.) notched her first of the contest unassisted with 14:40 to play in the opening period.

Junior midfielder Kara Rafferty (Bayshore, N.Y.) put the Ducks on the board in the 22nd minute thanks to a feed from senior midfielder Spencer Waybright (West Hartford, Conn.). On the play, Rafferty received the pass, spun and buried the shot into the lower left corner while falling for a gorgeous goal.

Ithaca ran off the next two to take a commanding 4-1 edge with 4:30 left in the first half, but Stevens goals from Waybright, Rafferty and Waybright again brought the Ducks even (4-4) at the 1:53 mark. Sophomore attack Caitlyn Hughes (Randolph, N.J.), senior midfielder Joey Galligan (Burlingame, Calif.) and Rafferty notched assists, with the goals coming over a span of just 1:36.

Fighting the momentum from the 3-0 Stevens run, Ithaca closed the half strong as Rivas and senior attack Sam Whitney (Rye, N.H.) each netted unassisted tallies the first coming with 24 seconds left and the second with just five ticks on the clock and the Bombers took a 6-4 lead into the locker room.

Galligan brought the Ducks within one goal 4:48 into the second when freshman Erika Wilcox (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) found her open in front for her second point of the game. Ithaca answered with two goals spaced by a little more than 10 minutes of game time to open a three-goal cushion with 14 minutes to play.

Bomber goalie Jess Worthman (Commack, N.Y.) and Stevens goalie Meg Collins (Marshfield, Mass.) kept each offense off the scoreboard until 1:41 was left. Worthman made four saves on one possession with 11 minutes remaining to keep the Ithaca ahead by three and finished with nine denials for the game. Collins tallied five stops for the Ducks.

Rafferty netted the final goal of the game for the final score of the afternoon, 8-6.

Stevens ended with a 26-23 margin in shots and each team committed 13 turnovers. The Ducks also had a 21-16 margin in ground balls and each team converted just one of six free-position chances. Ithaca had an 8-7 edge in draw controls.

Rivas, Dahl and Fischer each had two goals for the Bombers with senior Michelle Avery (Norwalk, Conn.) notching a pair of caused turnovers. Dahl had a team-high four draw controls for Ithaca, and sophomore midfielder Natalie Lang (Garnet Valley, Pa.) scooped up three ground balls.

Rafferty had three goals, one assist and two ground balls for Stevens, with Waybright scoring twice, dishing out one helper, scooping up four ground balls and controlling one draw. Galligan had one goal, one assist, a game-high five draw controls and two caused turnovers, and sophomore defender Amanda Ingersoll (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) had three ground balls and a caused turnover. Wilcox assisted on one goal and scooped up three ground balls, and freshman midfielder Mackenzie Swartout (Rochester, N.Y.) had four ground balls.

The Ducks will return to action Thursday when they host Rowan University at the De Baun Athletic Complex at 4:00 p.m.

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