Pioneers Drop NEC Opener 11-9 At Robert Morris

Shelby Vaccaro
Shelby Vaccaro

The Sacred Heart University women's lacrosse team dropped an 11-9 decision to host Robert Morris University Friday afternoon in the Northeast Conference season opener.  The loss drops the Pioneers to 2-7 on the year and 0-1 in the league, while the Colonials improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Consecutive goals from Shelby Vaccaro with just under 13:00 to play in the first-half gave the Pioneers a 5-4 advantage, the second lead of the game.  Emily Jamison answered for Robert Morris with back-to-back goals to put the Colonials back in front, 6-5, with 9:06 to play before halftime.  Jesslyn Joseph knotted the score 17 seconds later, but the game remained tied for only 59 seconds before Kristin Yoviene put the Colonials back in front, 7-6.  Vaccaro netted her fourth goal of the first-half with 16 ticks remaining in the period and the teams went to the break tied, 7-7.

Robert Morris scored the first three goals of the second-half, building a 10-7 advantage, 7:37 into the half.  The Colonials defense held SHU scoreless for 12:09 until Brianna Liljeberg scored at the 17:51 mark.  The scored remained 10-8 in favor of Robert Morris for nearly 12 minutes, until Kylie Calandra struck for the Pioneers, bringing them within a tally, 10-9.  Sacred Heart could not find the equalizer however, and Jessica Rutherford scored with 89 seconds remaining to secure the victory for Robert Morris.

Vaccaro finished with a game-high equaling four goals and also picked up a ground ball for the Pioneers, while Calandra finished with two goals and a draw control.  Alison Braig recorded a team-high three draw controls and Caitlin Delaney had five ground balls, to go along with two draw controls and a goal scored.

Kelly Keenan made two saves and picked up a ground ball in playing the entire game in net for Sacred Heart. Kaitlin Pentz finished with four saves and two ground balls to earn the win for Robert Morris.

Yoviene netted four goals, while Jamison recorded a hat trick and Corey Karwacki had two goals and an assist for the Colonials.  Jessica Karwacki finished with a game-high seven draw controls and Lauren Roberts had five ground balls to go along with a tally.

Sacred Heart completes its two game road trip on Sunday with a noon game at Saint Francis University.