Naz women out in E8 semis with loss to Hartwick

Courtesy of Nazathletics.com

ONEONTA, N.Y. — A dominant second-half effort by host Hartwick Wednesday evening doomed Nazareth’s post-season fortunes in women’s soccer as the Hawks scored the game’s only goal in the 55th minute of a 1-0 victory over the Golden Flyers.

The victory in the Empire 8 Conference Tournament semifinals lifted the second-seeded Hawks into Saturday’s championship game at home against Utica. The fourth-seeded Pioneers upset top-seeded St. John Fisher, 1-0, in the other tournament semifinal game. Hartwick improved to 12-3-3, while Nazareth, seeded third, is 9-6-2.

After a lackluster first half in which each team generated four shots, Hartwick was able to control play in the second half by outshooting Nazareth 14-3 and creating three corner kicks. The lone goal came about 30 seconds after the first corner kick of the half. A scramble in front of Nazareth keeper Hannah Miller ended with a left-footed tap by Hartwick’s Zoe Capanna that ended up over the goal line. Tanner Reed was credited with an assist.

Nazareth was unable to generate any serious scoring threats thereafter as Hartwick kept the ball in the Golden Flyers’ half most of the time. In fact, Miller was called upon to make a couple of diving saves to keep Hartwick from scoring again. She finished with seven saves.

Most of Nazareth’s offensive threats were created in the first 25 minutes of the first half as Maggie McKayLauren Begy and McKayla Hughes each had shots that were saves by Hartwick keeper Cassandra Robataille, who claimed four saves overall to gain the shutout.

Nazareth was seeking its eighth conference title and its first trip to the championship game since 2014. Hartwick earned a co-championship in 2017, but missed out on a trip to the NCAA Tournament through penalty kicks against Stevens. Utica on Saturday will be seeking its first E8 title in women’s soccer.

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