Posted on 10/30/19
By, Jamie Malloy – Staff Writer
On Saturday, Oct. 26, The St. John Fisher Cardinals Field Hockey Team hosted the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents at Growney Stadium.
Entering the match, Fisher could clinch the Empire 8 regular season Championship, and also earn the number one seed in the upcoming Empire 8 tournament. Meanwhile, the Presidents were looking for a late season upset in order to maintain their chance at earning the number four seed.
In the first quarter, Fisher gained early momentum as Senior Lindsay Scott received a pass from Gianna Palma, scoring the opening goal to put the Cardinals up 1-0 at 9:25 into the game.
The Cardinals would lead 1-0 after one quarter of play, but they would not stop there. In fact, their strong play got better as the game went on. In the second quarter, Danila Casseri tallied her fourth goal of the season on an assist from Alyssa Andres to put the Cardinals up 2-0 at 28:15 of the first half.
The Cardinal defense continued to play stoutly as they kept the Presidents off of the scoreboard and took a two-goal lead into the locker room for halftime. When asked about making any adjustments for the second half, head coach Tori Bothner was adamant about sticking with the team’s game plan that seemed to be working effectively.
“We didn’t make any adjustments,” said Bothner. “We just wanted to continue to keep what we were doing because it was working.”
Bothner also told the girls to act like they were losing 2-0, which has helped them in games where they were leading at the half. “We act like we are at a deficit,” she said, “we act like we are losing because we need to keep up as much speed and stamina as possible.”
The Cardinals lead continued to grow as Lidnsay Scott added her second goal of the game at 31:00 into the third quarter, on a second assist from Andres to make it a 3-0 lead for Fisher.
When asked about Scott’s consistent reliability all year for the Cards, Bothner commented that she has been playing like that since she arrived on campus. “Lidnsay’s been reliable for four years,” said Coach Bothner. “She was rookie of the year freshman year, and then all region her sophomore year, she also played a stellar season last year, and this year it has just been her maturity as a senior.”
After three quarters of play, the Cardinals led 3-0 and were one quarter away from being named Empire 8 regular season champions and earning the number one seed in the tournament.
Rather than sitting back and feeling at ease, the Cardinals kept their aggressive play in the fourth quarter and added one goal for good measure. Bre Socker put the game away on Scott’s only assist of the day at 52:38 to give Fisher a commanding 4-0 lead over the Presidents.
When the horn sounded, the Cardinals had effectively clinched the Empire 8 regular season championship and the number 1 seed in the upcoming Empire 8 Tournament.
They pitched a 4-0 shutout and improved their record to 13-4 overall (6-0 in the Empire 8) with two games left to play.
With the loss, the Presidents fell to 8-6 overall and fall to .500 in conference play at 3-3.
For Fisher, it was the first victory over Washington and Jefferson in three years as last year the Cardinals lost to the Presidents in a tough Empire 8 Championship Final Match.
“We’ve been battling them hard for years,” said Coach Bothner. “We haven’t beaten them since 2016, and this is definitely the strongest squad we have faced since I’ve been here,”
The Cardinals will look to continue their success as they will host a non-conference matchup against Oswego State on Wednesday, Oct.30, before the “Battle of the Beaks” game against in-town rival Nazareth College in the regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 2.
As for her message moving forward, Coach Bothner and company can’t wait for these last two games, as well as the Empire 8 Championship as a number one seed. She closed by saying “we couldn’t be more excited and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”