Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The St. John Fisher College women’s soccer team had their historic season brought to an abrupt end on Wednesday night as the No. 1 Cardinals were upset by No. 4 Utica College at Growney Stadium in the semifinal round of the Empire 8 Tournament, 0-1. First-year head coach Molly Romano guided her Regular Season Empire 8 Conference Champion team to a 7-7-3 finish and a 4-0-3 record in the conference.
Utica improves to 11-5-1 on the season and will move on to face No. 2 Hartwick on Saturday, November 9 in the Empire 8 Championship at Elmore Field in Oneonta.
Offensive momentum stuck with the Cardinals throughout the match under the bright lights of Growney Stadium. Fisher attacked the opponent consistently as it uncorked 18 shots on the night.
Fisher’s best chance to score came in the 26th minute when a cross from Mia Tirabassi zipped through the middle of the defense and found the striking Emily Murray, but two deflections stopped the shot in its tracks.
The Cardinals’ defense stood tall throughout the matchup as the backfield of Tirabassi, Chandler Stephany (Spencerport), Kierra Duvall, and Molly Tice allowed only five opponent shots. They also held the conference’s leader in points and goals to just one shot attempt on the night.
The match’s lone goal came in the 82nd minute when a Utica forward placed a 30-yard free kick on the far post, just past the reach of Fisher keeper, Gabriella D’Ambrosio (Churchville-Chili). The goal would be the decider as the Pioneers sealed their way to the Empire 8 Championship game.
Of the four shots she faced, D’Ambrosio stopped three of them. Her save percentage moved to .727 and her record dropped to 4-3 on the season.
Emily Murray led all Cardinals in shots with five in the match while Carli Kovarik added on four shots herself. Stephany logged three shots on the night and Becky Mack contributed two of her own. Tirabassi, Kerri Orbach, Megan Letta (Hilton), and Abigail Barr recorded a shot each.