Nazareth remains the only undefeated division III team in all the land by dismantling a strong Ithaca squad, 14-6. The Nazareth Golden Flyers looked to be in post-season form today as they completely shut down the Ithaca bombers offense in the second half. The good news was tainted for the Golden Flyers however, starting midfielder Jarod Koopman twisted his ankle in the first quarter and did not return to action. Nazareth didn't miss him today, but come play-off team they'll want all there horses fully saddled and ready to go.
Before the game the Nazareth goalies were warming up without their team as the entire Ithaca squad came out to warm up. The Bombers were jogging behind the end line screaming out the cliche swiss cheese remarks and others of the sort. Among all the hootin' and hollerin', and it was loud, you could here one voice distinctly saying over and over again,"There's a new boss in New York State." When Nazareth came out they let there traditional bagpipes do the talking until the end of the game. With under two minutes to go you could hear Nazareth goaltender Rob Carroll, who had a big day, yelling,"Who's the king of New York, Who's the boss of New York." Well for now, Nazareth is on top, but there's a good chance these two teams will meet up again in the play-offs.
Nazareth looked just a little biiger and faster at each position, but that didn't dictate the score early. Ithaca jumped out in the first quarter to a 4-3 lead, but Nazareth would tie early in the second and never be on the losing end again. Golden Flyer Eric Gooberlet is every bit of 6'3" and 230 lbs like the roster claims. This guy goes where he wants and when he wants just running defenders over and pushing them out of his way en route to the cage. He could of had eight goals today easily if he didn't keep narrowly missing the cage. The close defense of Mark Sovie, Craig Sleeman, and Kevin Flanagan were especially tough on there opponents taking liberties with there sticks. They went to the box all day, but Ithaca went 1 for nine on the man-up so it was well worth it. Ithaca ran with them for a while, but they'll have to find a better game plan if they meet up again. Ithaca attackman Morris Jemal (5'5" 150 pounds) did a great job of protecting the ball against much bigger Nazareth defenders, but it's tough to get in front of the goal when you're giving up that much size. Actually, by the end of the game it seemed as if the Ithaca players were shrinking and the Nazareth guys turned into giant bullies.
Ithaca held the first possession until Mark Sovie stripped Nick Mayer with a nice over-the-head pick. In transition Eric Gooberlet ran down the field and zig-zagged a little on his way to the cage untouched. At twelve yards out he shot on the run a bouncer that beat Ithaca netminder Ryan Martin, 1-0. Ithaca answered when Matt Spies ran hard down the right side of the field and then simply swept to the left. With his defender losing ground on him and no slide he was able to come across the middle and bounce one past Rob Carroll, 1-1. Naz follows with a couple of unsuccessful crease feeds. Ithaca calls time-out on their next possession to set something up. They gave the ball to their stud middie Dennis Juleff who took a longstick down the right side and swept to his left much like his teamate Spies. Only after beating the first guy he had to split two more before emerging ten yards out to Carroll's right where he bounced one in from, 2-1. Juleff looked great early, but he ran out of steam as the game went on. That would be his only goal of the day. After some end to end action and the Koopman injury, Ithaca attackman Nick Mayer pulled his bread and butter move to success. The Nazareth "D" had to be kicking themselves because they definitely saw this move on tape. Mayer curls from behind to his left and goes upfield far enough where he can turn one way or the other with a rocker step and get a shot off. This time he turned to his right hand and beat Carroll for the 3-1 lead. Nazareth had a chance at the 6:03 mark to get within one on a man-up play due to a Ryan Orser push. Brian Roden ripped one from up top for the Flyers, but Martin stopped it. At 4:11 the Flyers made it 3-2 when Gooberlet ran down the right side through a myriad of players cruised back to "X" and came around to feed an open Jim Cianfrocca who hit the far pipe through a screen. Next, longpole Tim Riley led a fast break and no Naz players picked him up so he ripped a tough shot that Carroll stuffed. However, the rebound was possessed by Ithaca for Juleff to feed Jemal all alone on the door step. The dip and dunk to Carroll's left was successful for the lefthand shot, 4-2. With 20 seconds left in the first Nazareth middie Al Terilli face dodged his man who was back peddling and couldn't keep up in transition for an lay-up goal, 4-3.
Naz wasted no time tying the score at 14:24 of the second quarter. Chad Kuczek had his man hung up from behind the cage. He faked right and came around left to sneak one past Martin, 4-4. At 10:51 Jim Quackenbush(that's a mouthful) wisely tucked his stick in when Ithaca shortstick Brian Pilger went for the all or nothing over the head check. He was one on one with Martin and lasered one off the far right pipe. At 9:23 Gooberlet struck again when the ball was moved cross crease from Terilli for the mostly open net, 6-4. The teams exchanged man-ups. But Ithaca was successful to make it a one goal game, 6-5. Great ball movement in a 1-4-1 around the perimeter. The ball came from the top to Juleff who had rotated up from the lefty wing position. He threw a behind the back pass to Dan Karg who had come off the crease to Carroll's left and found Mayer on the other side of the crease. Mayer had snuck around from "X". A thing of beauty it was. Ensuing play led to a scrum on the Ithaca defensive half to goalie Martin's left. With many players fighting for the ball PJ Rosencrans was able to emerge and beat everyone else to the goal, but he paid dearly as middie Mike Nason tried to kill him with a great body check. The refs though it was late so Naz went man-up. They were unsuccessful at scoring, but managed to get a penalty of their own when Roden held Martin with his stick around the neck on a clear. Ithaca would go on for the next three minutes and apply the first sustained pressure by either team, but to no avail. With 19 seconds to go Naz called timeout to set something up. The ball was worked through "X" and came out to Carroll's left when the double was drawn. Rosencrans caught it in the top lefty crank spot ans as the slide from the crease came to him he hit crease man Josh Lewis who came across righty and back handed one off the far left post, 8-5.
The second half was all Naz. Ithaca may have had possession in the offensive end for about three minutes out of the third quarter and that includes man up. The first five minutes was an onslaught of Flyers chances that weren't converted. It consisted of three shots high, three shots wide, and three stops by Martin. They actually subbed a middie in during this sustained offensive pressure, but they couldn't put it away. After all that they wound up throwing the ball out of bounds on a pass, but the ball was on Ithaca's offensive side about five seconds before they coughed it up and Naz was back on the attack. At 9:38 Kuczek drove from behind to his right and his defender, Tim Riley, fell leaving him eight yards out. He wound up on a defenseless Martin to make it 9-5. Naz would go on to score three more to close out the quarter 12-5.
The fourth quarter exhibited a blossoming confidence of Nazareth and weakening confidence in Ithaca. The fans sensed the game was over as well as the players. They started screaming for Ithaca to give the ball to Mullet referring to Brian Pilger who has long curly hair coming out of the back of his helmet. It's not really a mullet cut though. It's more of a mop kinda' look where it's almost as long in the front as it is in the back and the sides. Anyway, things got a little ugly at the end as Nazareth defenders were really starting to let their sticks fly. Ithaca got one more and Nazareth added two for a 14-6 final.
|Al Terilli||(2, 2)|
|Eric Goodberlet||(2, 1)|
|Chad Kuczek||(2, 1)|
|Pj Rosecrans||(1, 1)|
|Travis Roost||(2, 0)|
|Josh Lewis||(2, 0)|
|Jim Quackenbush||(1, 0)|
|Jim Cianfrocca||(1, 0)|
|Stephen Blount||(1, 0)|
|Brian Roden||(0, 1)|
|Rob Carroll||16 (0.727)|