May 3, 2009

Nazareth Stops Fisher; Snags E8 Bid

from press releases

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Fourth-seeded Nazareth College knocked off No. 3 St. John Fisher College in the Empire 8 Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship Finals, as the Golden Flyers earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship with a 9-4 win over the host Cardinals on Sunday at Fisher's Growney Stadium.

The wins marks the fifth time in the last seven years that Nazareth has won the Empire 8 title and avenges a 13-12 loss to Fisher earlier this year.

Fisher (15-3) will find out later tonight if it has received an at-large bid to NCAAs.

The Cardinals took the lead just 35 seconds into the game, as Ryan Schmidt found Connor Henderson, who scored his 23rd goal of the year, but it would be the only time Fisher would have a lead in the game.

Nazareth led 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, and Mike Cummings' goal with 2:44 left in the second quarter gave the Golden Flyers a 5-3 lead at intermission.

Fisher pulled to within a goal at 5-4 with 5:49 left in the third quarter, but Nazareth quickly regained the momentum.  Nazareth won the ensuing faceoff with Sean Dennison scooping up the ground ball and scoring just 11 seconds later.

Nazareth made it 7-4 with nine seconds left in the third quarter with C.J. Estes scoring on a pass from Erinn O'Hara.

O'Hara and Estes each scored two goals in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Nazareth goalie Todd Dermody was named as the Championship's Most Valuable Player.   The junior goalie made seven saves and allowed a season-low four goals.   In Nazareth's 13-12 win at Ithaca College on Friday, he stopped 19 shots.

For Nazareth, Estes and Sean Dennison each finished with two goals and one assist, while Cummings scored two goals.   Scott Castle and Jay Willmas also scored.

For Fisher, Chris Schmidt, Jeff Price, Henderson and Denhoff each scored a goal, while Ryan Schmidt finished with two assists.

Goalie Jon Cortina stopped 14 shots.

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