Pioneers Lose NEC Opener in Overtime, 11-10, to Robert Morris

FAIRFIELD, CT (March 25, 2011) – Robert Morris freshman Emily VanDyne set up the game-tying goal with 47 seconds left in regulation and then notched the game-winner in overtime as Sacred Heart saw a streak of 14-straight wins over Northeast Conference teams snapped with a 11-10 loss to the Colonials Friday afternoon on Campus Field.  The Pioneers losing streak hits six-straight with the loss as they also saw a run of 15-straight home wins over NEC competition come to end as well on Friday.

Robert Morris (2-6, 1-0 NEC) held a 31-27 advantage on shots, scoring on their lone attempt in the extra session.  VanDyne finished with three goals and an assist while junior Colleen O'Donnell scored four times and assisted on one goal.  The Pioneers turned it over 12 times, eight coming in the second, and were held scoreless on four shots in overtime.  Sophomore Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) turned in two goals and a career-high four assists in the loss.

The Colonials jumped out to a fast start with O'Donnell and VanDyne scoring at 27:41 and 27:26 to open the game.  RMU ran their lead out to 4-2 and forced a Sacred Heart timeout with 21:34 on the clock as Kaleigh Gibbons set up back to back scores by O'Donnell and Rachel Engel, coming 1:04 apart. 

Sacred Heart (1-7, 0-1 NEC) responded with a three-goal spurt started by Pepe who scored off a feed from junior Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY) at 20:03.  The duo hooked-up for a scored at 17:21, this time with Pepe delivering the pass to Kmiotek and they would strike again at 15:57 to put the Pioneers in front, 5-4.  Robert Morris knotted the game back up at 12:53 as Elizabeth Sunseri scored on an 8-meter attempt.

The game hit a lull for the next 10 minutes before SHU freshman Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) would give SHU a 6-5 lead with an 8-meter marker of her own at the 2:30 mark.  The Colonials closed the half strong as O'Donnell and VanDyne scored at 1:28 and with nine seconds left, respectively, to send their team to the locker room up 7-6.

SHU's Jessica Ingrilli (Wantagh, NY) tied the game at 7-7 nearly seven minutes into he second half scoring unassisted and the Pioneers would take the lead back at the 12:56 mark.  RMU's Ashley Trombetta scored on an 8-meter attempt but the Pioneers stormed back with a Pepe to Alyssa Dorsey (Massapequa, NY) goal at 15:04 and a Pepe from Russo marker at 12:56 for a 9-8 advantage.

The Colonials would tie the game again with 10:33 left as O'Donnell buried her fourth, this one coming unassisted.  The Pioneers wasted little time in responding, snatching the lead back on Ingrilli's second just 54 seconds later off a pass from freshman Shelby Vicarro (Brightwaters, NY).  The scored would stay there for nearly the next nine minutes as the Pioneers had the ball with just over three minutes left and a chance to run out the clock.  A costly turnover gave the Colonials the chance they were looking for as VanDyne set up behind the cage and delivered a perfect pass to Sunseri who buried it with 47 seconds left to knot the game at 10-10.

The Pioneers would have the first crack at a score in the overtime as Kmiotek got a solid look but hit the cross bar 1:12 on the clock.  With time winding down in the first three-minute overtime session, VanDyne set-up behind the cage again but this time beat a Pioneer defender and delivered what would prove to be the game-winner with 17 seconds left.  SHU's Ingrilli was turned away by Kaitlin Pentz with 1:32 left in the second three-minute overtime session and a last second attempt by Russo was denied as well giving the Colonials the program's first-ever win over the Pioneers.  Pentz turned in 10 saves to earn the win for Robert Morris.

The Pioneers are back at home on Sunday afternoon when they play host to the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash at 1:00 pm.

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