FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Despite taking an early lead, the Sacred Heart University field hockey team was not able to hold on as they fell to cross-town rival Fairfield 4-1 on Friday afternoon.
Christine Mace opened the scoring for SHU in the seventh minute with her team-leading fourth goal of the season. Mace got her stick on a Rachel Claroni pass and deflected it into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Sacred Heart (4-3) had opportunities to extend their lead, but Fairfield goalkeeper Emma Ball saved shots from Mace and Nichole Tolli, and a Danielle Gallagher shot was saved by a defender to keep the score at 1-0. The Pioneers registered five shots on goal before Fairfield put a shot on net.
Despite SHU's early control, Fairfield (3-5) would surge for three goals in less than six minutes late in the half to take a 3-1 lead into the break. They tied the game in the 25th minute on a goal from Ann Burgoyne. Less then two minutes later they took the lead after they were awarded a penalty stroke. Felicitas Heinen stepped up to finish it for a 2-1 lead. Fairfield completed the three-goal fury in the 30th minute on a goal from Julie de Paeuw.
The second half was controlled by Fairfield as they outshot the Pioneers 10-0. De Paeuw scored her second goal of the game off of a late penalty corner to finish the scoring at 4-1.
The Pioneers narrowly missed out on an opportunity to take the lead in the sixth minute as Liz Bergman's shot from a penalty corner hit the post. Gallagher followed up with another shot off of the rebound that was saved by Ball.
Despite trailing, the Pioneers outshot the Stags 9-6 in the first half. Fairfield would hold the edge for the game 16-9. SHU goalkeeper Mary Altepeter recorded four saves in defeat, while Ball stopped three shots in the first half to pick up the win. Caitlin Bennett was not tested as she played the second half in net for the Stags.
Sacred Heart will look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon as they travel to Brown for a 1 PM game.