Utica College vs. Nazareth
March 26, 2008
The Game Story:
UTICA, NY Ė The Utica College menís lacrosse team defeated visiting and nationally-ranked No. 9 Nazareth College 11-9 in Empire 8 Conference action on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium Wednesday.

The Pioneers earned their first victory over Naz in program-history and improved their overall record to 2-6. The Pioneers also even their conference mark to 1-1 overall. With the loss, Nazareth, who is coming off victories over two nationally-ranked top ten teams (Wesleyan, Western New England), dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Empire 8. Over the last five meetings the Pioneers were outscored by the Golden Flyers 93-40 and entering the contest UC had never beaten Naz in seven previous tries.

UC, which entered the contest with a 1-6 overall record, jumped out to a commanding 6-0 lead 3:31 into the first period. Freshman attack Ryan Schmidt (Whitesboro/Whitesboro) strolled in for an unassisted goal 1:01 into the first quarter. Schmidt slid his tenth goal of the season past Naz goalie Todd Dermody (Newfield/Selden) top right corner. Senior captain Kory Buckley (Whitesboro/Whitesboro) found junior midfielder Tom Collins (West Genesee/Camillus) wide open just outside the crease and he beat Dermody left side for his second goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Michael Bulger (IHC/Watertown) scored two of the Pioneers next four goals on assists from Buckley and Collins and the Pioneers led 6-0 after the first stanza.

The Golden Flyers chipped away at the Pioneers six goal lead with two of their own to account for the only scoring in the second quarter. Senior midfielder and team leading scorer Aaron Civalier (Penfield/Rochester) netted the first Golden Flyer goal of the contest on an assist from Erinn OíHara (Salisbury, CT/Camillus) to cut the Pioneer lead to five. Just under four minutes later OíHara added his ninth goal of the season and Uticaís six goal lead diminished to four by the halftime intermission.

Bulger opened the second half scoring with his tenth goal of the season, followed by four consecutive Nazareth tallies. Midway through the third quarter the Golden Flyers had cut the Pioneer lead to just one goal, 7-6, with 7:07 left in the third. Matt Aloi (Jamesville-Dewitt/Jamesville) got in on the action beating UC junior goalie Travis Wright (Watertown/Watertown) for his eleventh netter of the year at the 7:07 mark.

The Pioneers scored the final two goals of the third quarter, including a beautiful break away behind the back, no-look goal from sophomore attack John Giordano (New Hartford/New Hartford) and the Pioneers led 9-6.

Nazareth scored two of the games next three goals to cut the Pioneers lead to 10-8 with 9:36 left in the contest. UCís Tanner Stewart (Lowville/Lowville) scored an insurance goal, his team-high fourteenth of the season, on an assist from Schmidt at the 8:27 mark to seal the victory for the Pioneers.

Freshman midfielder Corey Remoli (Voorhees/Asbury, NJ) scored the gameís final goal with 2:57 for the Golden Flyers but it proved to be too little to late as the Pioneers played solid defense and did not relinquish the lead they had held onto all game.
UC junior goalie Travis Wright stopped 17 shots in net for UC, while his counterpart, Todd Dermody made nine saves in goal for Naz.

The Pioneers won the ground ball battle 44-39 and they won five of the games final six face-offs to maintain possession and hang on for the victory. UC went 2-of-4 on extra-man opportunities, compared to Nazís 0-for-2 performance with the one man advantage.

Bulger led the way for the Pioneers with a team-high three goals, while OíHara, Doug Milano-Johnson (Pittsford-Sutherland/Pittsford), Aloi and Remoli each tallied two goals for Nazareth.