Ithaca vs. Nazareth
April 29, 2007
The Game Story:
ITHACA, N.Y. -- The top-seeded and fifth-ranked men's lacrosse team fell to second-seeded and seventh-ranked Nazareth 16-14 in the Empire 8 Championship Tournament final. With the win, the Golden Flyers receive the Empire 8's automatic berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament. The Bombers now have an overall record of 15-3, while the Golden Flyers improved to 15-2.
Senior Ryan Hotaling (Onondaga/Syracuse) and classmate Chad Amidon (Onondaga/Syracuse) each had six points in the game to lead Nazareth, and midfielder Conor O�Keefe (Stony Brook/Setauket) recorded two goals.

Junior Matt Nelligan (Pingree School/Rowley, Mass.) led the Bombers with seven points, five of which were goals, and classmate Craig Lepiane (West Irondequoit/Rochester) notched three goals in the game. Midfielder Kevin Bush (Arapahoe [Colo.]/East Point, Fla.) and sophomore Mike Cintineo (Honeoye Falls-Lima/Honeoye Falls) each tallied two goals, while Matt Ruhnke (Brien McMahon/Norwalk, Conn.) and Chris Carman (Monte Vista/Alamos, Calif.) each notched a goal for Ithaca.

Ithaca began the game with a four-goal run that began at 12:47 of the first with Nelligan�s 52nd goal of the season. Nazareth responded with nine-straight goals, the first coming from O�Keefe at 5:13 of the first quarter. Hotaling scored three times during the Golden Flyers run, while Amidon and O�Keefe each tallied a pair of goals. Nelligan scored a man-up goal at 3:20 of the second quarter to finish out the half with Nazareth leading 9-5.

The Golden Flyers started the third with a goal from Hotaling, his fourth of the game, and Ithaca responded with two goals from Nelligan and Bush. Both teams swapped goals before Nazareth recorded two-straight from senior Kevin Kimball (St. Mark's/Framingham, Mass.) and junior Mark Kanellis (Cortland/Cortland) to stretch their lead to 13-8 at the 11:15 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Bombers scored each of the next five goals. Ruhnke started the run by winning the ensuing faceoff and scoring with 11:07 on the clock. Nelligan scored eight seconds later off the next faceoff from Ruhnke and Lepiane concluding the run with his 38th and 39th goals of the season to tie that game at 13-all with 6:21 left on the clock.

The Golden Flyers came back with three-straight goals to take control of the game for good in the closing minutes. Freshman Erinn O�Hara (Salisbury [Conn.]/Camillus) scored with 4:20 remaining and Amidon added his 32nd goal of the season 15 seconds later. Hotaling capped the run with his 31st goal of the year with 3:16 left on the clock. Lepiane finished the scoring with a goal from Nelligan with 1:20 remaining in the contest.

Senior Pat Mullin (Irondequoit/Rochester) made 16 saves in goal for Nazareth, and senior Dennis Butler (Pleasantville/Pleasantville) made 17 saves for the Bombers. Ithaca was three for eight in man-up goals, while Nazareth was two for seven. The Bombers recorded 12 caused turnovers, including a team-high five from junior Brandon Rose (Rush-Henrietta/Rochester). The Golden Flyers tallied five caused turnovers in the game and went 20-13 at faceoff X.

The Bombers will wait until Sunday, May 6, to find out if they will receive one of the four Pool C bids when the NCAA announces the men�s lacrosse Division III Championship selections. The selection show will be aired live on CSTV at 9 p.m.