HAMDEN, Conn. – The Sacred Heart University field hockey team dropped its regular season finale to defending MAAC champions Quinnipiac 1-0 on Friday afternoon. The loss puts the Pioneers at 9-8, finishing with a 3-2 record in the MAAC as they will head into postseason play next weekend.
The Bobcats broke through in the 49th minute as Gemma Cirera collected her own rebound after a Mary Altepeter save and was able to send it into the net for her third goal of the season.
After the Quinnipiac goal, SHU's only effort on net in the second half came with less than one minute on the clock. After a penalty corner, Liz Bergman had two shots blocked before producing a shot on net. Megan Conaboy denied the effort to secure the Bobcat victory.
Sacred Heart's Nicole Granito had the first scoring opportunity of the game as she dribbled into the circle only to be met by Quinnipiac goalie Megan Conaboy in the third minute. Three minutes later the Pioneers produced two shots from three consecutive penalty corners in the sixth and seventh minute. Rachel Claroni and Kylee Lowndes were both denied by Conaboy.
Quinnipiac's first shot on net came in the 14th minute as Cirera's effort was denied by Altepeter. Ten minutes later in the 24th, Danielle Allan beat Altepeter but Claroni was able to keep it out of net as she blocked it on the line.
The last two chances of the first half were manufactured by Pioneers. Liz Bergman sent a penalty corner shot just wide in the 30th minute. Seconds before the break, Nichole Tolli nearly gave SHU the lead but her shot was also went wide.
Both Altepeter and Conaboy recorded four saves for the game. Sacred Heart outshot the Bobcats 16-9 for the game, including a game-high six by Bergman and a 9-2 advantage in the first half. The Pioneers also held a slight 6-4 advantage in penalty corners.
The Pioneers next match will be on Friday, November 7 as they will travel to either Monmouth or Rider for the MAAC postseason tournament depending on Sunday's results.