Pioneers Open NEC Play with 10-8 Win at Rival Quinnipiac

Shelby Vaccaro
Shelby Vaccaro

HAMDEN, CT (March 22 2013) – Sacred Heart junior Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, NY) posted a career-high four goals to lead the Pioneer women's lacrosse team to a 10-8 come from behind win at Northeast Conference rival Quinnipiac Friday afternoon.  It was the NEC opener for both clubs as the Pioneers end a five-game losing streak notching their first win of 2013.

The Pioneers (1-5, 1-0 NEC) trailed 4-0 and 5-1 before roaring back with seven second half goals.  Vaccaro added an assist for a five point afternoon while classmate Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) scored three goals in the win.  Sophomore Taylor Babin (Ellicott City, MD) tacked on a pair of goals as well.

Quinnipiac (2-6, 0-1 NEC) held the Pioneers off the scoreboard for the first 20 minutes of action on Friday, jumping out to a four goal lead.  Sarah Allen opened the scoring at the 21 minute mark and then set-up a pair of Bobcat goals on the opening run.  SHU's Vaccaro got the Pioneers on the board at 10:08 with her first but QU's Kyra Ochwat answered right back three minutes later for a 5-1 lead.

The SHU defense kept the Bobcats off the board until the 13:44 mark in the second half, running off six-straight goals starting with Babin's first of the day at 5:29 of the first.  Vaccaro added her second before halftime as SHU trailed 5-3 at the break.

Babin's second started the second half scoring at 21:31 and tacked on back-to-back markers at 19:52 by Jacqueline Zlevor (Medfield, MA) and an 8-meter goal at 19:21 to take their first lead, 6-5.  The Pioneers made it 7-5 on Vaccaro's third at 16:49.

Allen and Michaela Tinsley tied the game back up at 7-7 with consecutive markers at 13:44 and 11:27 but a three-goal spurt by SHU put the Pioneers in control.  Russo scored back to back at 9:21 and 8:42, off feeds from senior Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) and Zlevor.  Vaccaro tacked on her fourth at 5:12 for a 10-7 lead.

QU's Allen scored her third with 1:08 left to cut the SHU lead to two and after getting the ball back with 36 seconds left, gave it back to the Pioneers on a turnover allowing SHU to run out the clock.

The Pioneers dominated on the draw winning 14 of the 20 taken, led by three each from junior Samantha Villafranca (Wading River, NY) and freshman Jesslyn Joseph (Bolton, MA). 

The Pioneers are home on Sunday for their final non-conference game of the season, playing host to the Saint Mary's (Ca.) Gaels.  Opening draw is at 1:00 pm.