Pioneers Open NEC Schedule with 2-0 Win Over Long Island

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 29, 2006) - Sacred Heart got goals from sophomore Jason Tessitore (Ansonia, CT) and freshman Svetozar Gladic (Novi Sad, Serbia) en route to a 2-0 win over Long Island Friday afternoon in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams. SHU improves to 4-3-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the league while the Blackbirds fall to 2-7-0 and 0-1-0 in the NEC.

The Pioneers missed an early chance to grab the lead just 10 minutes into play. Gladic got a feed up the left sideline with just LIU goalkeeper Alex Fatovic between him and a goal. Gladic got around the Blackbird keeper but his shot missed off the left post.

LIU made a bid for a goal themselves just five minutes later. Frank Alesci blasted a point blank shot that SHU keeper Matthew Jones (Stoke-on-Trent, England) deflected away. Long Island's Michael Marten collected the rebound but his shot hit the left post.

The Blackbirds best opportunity to score came with 16 minutes left in the first half. A long ball was played into the Sacred Heart box but when Jones came out to play the pass, the ball jarred loose and Alesci got a header toward the left post but SHU's Luke Gagliardi blasted the ball away keeping the game scoreless.

The Pioneers finally broke through offensively in the 39th minute. After a missed clearing opportunity by LIU, Tessitore collected the loose ball and blasted a shot past Fatovic to the right side and in to send SHU into the half up 1-0 and post his third marker on the year.

Long Island put the pressure on offensively throughout the opening 45 minutes but couldn't get a goal on the board. The Blackbirds forced Jones to make seven of his eight saves in the first half.

SHU's offense struck again in the 56th minute this time off the head of Gladic. Junior Brice Victor (Bridgeport, CT) beat his defender to the right corner and sent a perfect cross sailing to the far post. A waiting Gladic quickly deposited the pass on a header into the back of the net for his third goal of the season. From there, the Pioneers dug in defensively and held the Blackbirds in check for the shutout win.

Jones picks up his third shutout of the season. Fatovic made five saves in taking the loss for LIU. The Blackbirds held a 16-12 advantage on shots and a 7-4 advantage on corners.

Sacred Heart will host St. Francis-NY on Campus Field Sunday afternoon with kick-off slated for 2:00 pm.

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