Nazareth Picks up Empire Victory at Stevens

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Visiting Nazareth outscored Stevens 6-3 in the second half to defeat the Ducks 10-8 in an Empire 8 game on Saturday afternoon. Senior Megan Cregan scored all three of her goals in the second half to lead the Golden Flyers' rally.

With the victory, Nazareth improves to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in conference games. With the win, the Golden Flyers also clinched a spot in the Empire 8 Tournament, which will be played May 4th-5th. Nazareth is currently third in the standings. Ithaca stands at 6-0 and St. John Fisher is 5-1 in conference games. With the loss, Stevens, which is 7-8 overall, falls into a tie for fourth with Elmira as both teams have 3-3 Empire 8 records.

After trailing 5-4 at halftime, the Golden Flyers scored two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to reclaim their lead. Sophomore Brooke Sullivan tied the score 1:33 into the second period after receiving a pass from junior Amy McIntosh. Senior Alyssa Johnston converted a free position opportunity to give Nazareth a 6-5 edge with 20:52 to play in regulation.

With about 11 minutes remaining, Cregan gave Nazareth a two-goal lead, 8-6, with two scores in a span of 54 seconds. Cregan's first goal was an unassisted score, then she scored on a free position shot less than a minute later. Sophomore Brianna Mancini gave Nazareth its first three-goal lead of the game with her first goal of the game, which was less than two minutes after Cregan scored her free position goal. Cregan earned the assist on Mancini's goal.

Nazareth allowed Stevens only one goal in the first 22 minutes of the second half to overgome its 5-4 halftime deficit. Erika Wilcox scored for the Ducks to tie the game at six goals apiece before the Golden Flyers' scoring run. Joey Galligan added two goals in the final 7:59 to trim the final margin to 10-8. Galligan's goals were sandwiched around Cregan's third goal of the game, which put Nazareth ahead 10-7 with 3:18 to play in the period. With her three goals, Cregan ranks second on the team with 30 goals on the season.

In the first half, Wilcox scored 4:30 into the period to give Stevens the early lead, but Sullivan answered with her first goal of the game about a minute later. Seniors Erinn Wood and Kayleigh Pearson scored in aspan of 51 seconds to give Nazareth a 3-1 advantage. Wood was also credited with the assist on Pearson's goal.

Stevens finished the final 10:30 of the first half with four goals to build its 5-4 lead at the break. Kara Rafferty scored the first and last goals of the spurt. Spencer Waybright and Wilcox also found the back of the net for the Ducks. Mancini scored Nazareth's fourth goal of the game to help the Golden Flyers weather Stevens' scoring run.

Junior Tara Prosak finished with 13 saves and eight goals against to earn the victory. Meg Collins also recorded 13 saves between the pipes for the Ducks. Collins allowed all 10 of Nazareth's goals.

Stevens finished with advantages in draw controls (16-4), total shots (31-27), and ground balls collected (21-16), however, the Ducks were whistled for 22 fouls compared with 13 fouls for the Golden Flyers. Both teams had 13 turnovers.

Waybright and Rafferty, ranked first and second in total scoring in the Empire 8 with 64 points and 61 points, respectively, were held to a total of three goals and one assist despite three shots by Waybright and 12 by Rafferty. Freshman Carly Gates and Cregan eached forced two turnovers for Nazareth's defense.

The Golden Flyers are in action again on the 25th with a non-conference contest at Cortland before finishing the regular season with an Empire 8 game at Elmira on the 27th.

2013-04-20



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