Nazareth Takes Empire 8 Clash vs. Utica

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Featuring a balanced offensive attack that included 10 different goal scorers, Nazareth put forth a solid effort from start to finish Sunday in a 16-7 lacrosse victory over visiting Utica in a key Empire 8 Conference game.

Combined with Saturday's 12-5 loss to Ithaca, Nazareth was able to salvage a weekend split of conference games to improve to 5-7 overall and 2-2 in Empire 8 games. Utica dropped to 8-4 overall and 3-3 in conference games.

Freshman Kate Rothrock paced Nazareth with a career-best six points on three goals and three assists. Freshman Gabrielle Charles added a career-best three goals, while junior Brooke Sullivan scored twice and secured six draw controls. Junior Brianna Mancini also scored twice. Two other freshmen -- Heather Groot and Maggie Namy -- netted their first career goals, while junior defender MacKenzie Haley scored for the first time this season and just the second time in her career.

Nazareth never trailed Sunday as the Golden Flyers scored three times before the game was eight minutes old. They led 8-3 at the half as eight different players scored. Charles, Amy McIntosh and Carly Gates scored the first three goals before Utica interrupted the string with an unassisted goal at the nine-minute mark. Nazareth then scored five straight to take an 8-1 lead. Junior Suzie Gray scored off an assist from Gates, then Sullivan scored on a free-position shot with 12:26 left in the half to make it 5-1. Kate Rothrock scored unasssisted and then assisted on goals by Mancini and Groot.

Utica then strung together three straight goals -- the last two of the first half and the first one of the second -- to close within 8-4. Nazareth then rattled off the next five goals to regain control at 13-4. Charles scored the first two goals of the run, then Sullivan scored her second goal of the game off a fine assist from defender Hannah Prince, who earned her first career point. Goals by Mancini and Haley followed to complete the run.

Kate Rothrock scored Nazareth's next two goals and had the assist on Namy's goal with 9:26 left.

Utica had advantages in shots (27-22) and ground balls (20-15), but Nazareth had a 14-11 advantage in draw controls and converted all four of its free-position opportunities. Senior goalie Tara Prosak made eight saves and allowed five goals in 48 minutes. Junior Ashley Kirch played the final 12 minutes and made three saves.

Nazareth is home again Saturday against Elmira in an Empire 8 Conference game at 1:00 p.m.


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