Sept. 1, 2009
Fairfield, CT- The Pioneers opening game of 2009 was spoiled by a long range shot from Providence's Tim Ritter that found the top side netting with 1:47 to play in double overtime as the Friars defeated SHU 1-0 Tuesday night. Alex Fait (Ottawa, Canada) played well in his Pioneer debut making 10 saves, including two in overtime. Overall Providence led Sacred Heart in shots just 15-14 while each team earned four corner kicks.
Sacred Heart (0-1-0) relied on their new goalkeeper early as Fait made two saves in succession at point blank range robbing Friar forward Nick Cianci of an early goal. The Pioneers would have the next scoring chance at the 22:15 mark as a Brian Francolini (Ellington, CT) header floated just high on a cross from fellow freshman Justin Brewer (Somers, CT). Providence (1-0-0) nearly broke through just two minutes later on a hard shot from just outside the 18 yard box but Fait would make a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
The Pioneers started the second half on the attack and looked as if they would pull ahead on a header from Mario Mililli (Shelton, CT). Providence goalkeeper Timothy Murray would be up to the task tipping the ball just over the crossbar to notch one of his fives saves in the match. Nemanja Filimonovic (Belgrade, Serbia) sent the ensuing corner kick through the face of the goal but SHU could not get a player in position to make the finish. Filimonovic made a run of his own at the 23:30 mark in the second half and took a spinning shot from the left side of the penalty box that looked destined for the top right corner before Murray was able to get a hand on it.
The Friars had the best chance to score in the first overtime session as John Raley blasted a shot from just inside the box. Fait would again come to the rescue with the save to keep the game alive for the Pioneers. Two minutes into the second overtime period Fait made the save of the game diving full extension to turn away a header from Providence's Marc Cintron.
Providence controlled the ball with two minutes to play as Ritter made a seemingly innocent run up the right side of the box. The Friar senior forward cut back, dribbled towards the center of the pitch, and ripped a shot from 22 yards out. The ball sailed towards the top left corner and was perfectly placed beneath the cross bar and into the side netting for the game winner.
Sacred Heart will look to bounce back as they travel to Loudonville, NY to take on Siena on September 8. The Pioneers return home September 23 to take on Adelphi at Campus Field at 3:00 pm.