ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Junior Jake Pawlika scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season and senior goalkeeper Patrick Larkin made nine saves in posting his second shutout of the season Saturday as Nazareth blanked Russell Sage, 2-0, in the Empire 8 Conference men’s soccer opener for both teams.
The victory at Golden Flyer Stadium enabled the Golden Flyers to remain unbeaten overall at 5-0-1, while Russell Sage dropped to 2-3-1.
Scoring opportunities were scarce, but Nazareth eventually capitalized in the 31st minute after freshman Tyler Warmington was tripped up in the penalty area. The subsequent penalty kick was taken by Pawlika, who drilled a shot into the left side of the goal for the 1-0 lead. Pawlika has now scored a goal in all six of Nazareth’s games this season and has 26 for his career. He also scored penalty kick goal in a 1-0 win over SUNY Poly on Sept. 6.
Nazareth’s second goal came in the 52nd minute following a throw-in by Sam Romanosky deep inside Russell Sage territory. Noah Malta got a foot on the toss and redirected the ball toward Drew Decker, who tapped it over the goal line for his third score of the season.
There were opportunities later on for the Gators, but Larkin was solid in goal for the Golden Flyers in amassing a season-high save total for his third career shutout. Nazareth had a 14-12 edge in shots and Russell Sage had five corner kicks to Nazareth’s two.
Nazareth plays its next three games on the road, starting with a non-conference match at Oswego Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Golden Flyers resume their E8 Conference schedule Saturday at Hartwick at 3 p.m. and Sept. 30 at Utica at 7 p.m.