FAIRFIELD, CT (March 2, 2011) – Junior co-captain Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY) recorded a career-high seven points on three goals and with four assists to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers to a 12-10 win over Iona College Wednesday afternoon on Campus Field. Kmiotek posted a pair of goals late in the second half to help fend off a Gael rally and help lead the Pioneers to their first win of 2011. Iona falls to 0-3 with the loss.
The Pioneers (1-1) impressed in the first half using a pair of three-goal runs on offense while forcing 12 turnovers and four Iona broken clears to build an 8-3 lead at the half. SHU fell behind 1-0 on a Nina Veneziale 8-meter goal to open the game but used a three-goal spurt over a three minute stretch to jump in front. Sophomore Emily Pepe (Westhampton, NY), junior Kaitlin Rochler (Wading River, NY) and Kmiotek all scored to put the Pioneers up 3-1 with 20:24 on the clock.
Kmiotek got another three-goal run started at 17:57 as she set up freshman Kameryn Downing (Cherry Hills Village, CO) for her first collegiate goal and fellow freshman Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) followed that by sniping in an 8-meter goal. Senior co-captain Jessica Ingrilli (Wantagh, NY) made it 6-2 Sacred Heart with her first of two scores on the day burying a feed from Pepe.
Iona's Emily Taddei cut the SHU lead in half at 14:03 with her first goal of the season but the Pioneers closed out the first half taking on two more, both set up by Kmiotek. The junior midfielder set up Ingrilli with 13:12 left and fed Rochler for her second with 7:51 as SHU took an 8-3 lead into the locker room. Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Pepe (Westhampton, NY) made all three of her saves in the first half.
The Gaels (0-3) made their run in the second half, scoring seven goals on just eight shots and cut the Pioneers lead down to two goals mid way through. Brittney Mabus got the scoring with an 8-meter score just 1:25 into the half and after SHU's Alyssa Dorsey (Massapequa, NY) pushed the Pioneer's lead back to five at 25:59, Iona used a three-goal spurt to pull within two. Three different Gaels found the back of the cage with Veneziale and Mabus scoring their second goals of the afternoon, both unassisted, and Kylie Gregory burying a Caitlyn Collins feed to force a SHU timeout with 14:06 left down 9-7.
Rochler gave the Pioneers a lift with her third goal of the day coming from Dorsey at 11:19. Kmiotek answered with an 8-meter goal at 6:35 and then broke free from the defense and finished off a perfect feed from Rochler behind the net for her third and a 12-7 lead with 5:52 to play.
Iona pulled back to within two scores as Casey Scully and Brenna Lade both scored unassisted just 30 seconds apart but the Pioneer defense forced a turnover with just over two minutes to play and SHU would successfully clear and run out the remaining minutes to secure the win.
Sacred Heart returns home on Saturday afternoon to play host to the Manhattan Jaspers at 3 pm.