Despite a slower start than it anticipated, the 20th-ranked women’s lacrosse team (13—3 overall, 7—0 Empire 8) had little trouble in defeating Nazareth College (6—9 overall, 4—3 Empire 8) by a score of 14-4 in the Empire 8 Conference semifinal yesterday at Higgins Stadium.
The Blue and Gold were heavily favored coming into Friday’s matchup thanks to its perfect 7—0 record in conference play during the regular season. The South Hill squad needed time to find its playoff legs, however, and led just 5-2 at the half.
Evidently, the Bombers recognized they did not want the Golden Flyers to keep hanging around. The team came out with inspired play to open the second half, going on a 7-0 run over the first 15 minutes to extend the lead to 12-2 and essentially put the game out of reach.
Junior attack Tracy Rivas paced the Blue and Gold offense with a hat trick and two assists. Rivas’ five points moved her into second place all-time on the program’s career scoring list with 78 total points. Junior midfielder Nikki Dahl also punctuated a strong day with a hat trick of her own, while junior midfielder Kim Armbruster and senior attack Nicole Borisenok each contributed two goals and an assist.
The South Hill squad tallied four free position goals on the day and outshot Nazareth 33-14. Junior goalie Jess Worthman kept the Golden Flyers at bay with eight saves.
With the semifinal victory, the Bombers are now just one victory away from avenging its Empire 8 final loss to Stevens Institute of Technology last year. The Blue and Gold will take on second-seeded St. John Fisher College (13—4 overall, 6—1 Empire 8) in the conference final at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Higgins Stadium.
The Cardinals defeated the 18th-ranked Stevens Ducks by a score of 13-9 in the other semifinal. The Bombers dominated their regular season meeting with the Cardinals 8-3 on April 7 at Higgins Stadium.