April 20, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 20, 2008) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers scored five goals on their first six shots and never looked back sprinting away from Central Connecticut for a 17-1 win to earn a share of the 2008 Northeast Conference regular season championship. Sacred Heart matches it best-ever NEC finish at 7-1, tying for first place with Quinnipiac and Monmouth. The Pioneers will be the #2 seed in next weekend's conference tournament.
The Pioneers (10-7, 7-1 NEC) wasted little time in taking control as sophomore Carissa Hauser (East Northport, NY) buried a feed from junior Mary Montesarchio (Cortlandt Manor, NY) 56 seconds in. Hauser led all players with three goals and three assists for six points in the win. SHU ran out to a 6-0 lead by the mid point of the first half and went up 11-0 at the half and out shot CCSU 21-2 over the first 30 minutes.
The second half was more of the same for the Pioneers as they extended their lead to 15-0 by the 10:58 mark. Central Connecticut's (1-13, 1-7 NEC) lone goal came at 8:59 off the stick of Courtney Mooney. The Pioneers closed it out with two more scores to produce the final, 17-1. SHU finished with a 35-9 advantage in shots and forced the Blue Devils into 10 failed clears (9-19).
In addition to Hauser's six point afternoon, senior Liz Ottey (Baltimore, MD) chipped in a goal and a career-high four assists on "Senior Day". Fellow seniors Katie Salamone (Baltimore, MD) tallied three goals and Alyssa Harris (Kings Park, NY) finished with five ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. The graduating trio was honored before the game with their parents as they played their final home game on Campus Field.
Junior Amanda Williams (Monroe, CT) scored four goals in the win while winning five draws. SHU took 15 of the 20 draws taken on the day. Montesarchio added a pair of goals and assists while freshman Jessica Ingrilli (Wantagh, NY) scored twice and added an assist. Sophomore Chelsea Wagner (Aurora, CO) needed to make just five stops to earn her 10th win of the season, tying the school record for wins in a season.
Montesarchio finishes the regular season leading the Pioneers in scoring with 20 goals and a school record 36 assists. Her 56 points is tied for 6th on the all-time list for points in a season. Williams ends the regular season with a team leading 39 goals, tying for 10th for goals scored in a season.
The Pioneers will move on to the NEC Tournament next weekend at top-seeded Quinnipiac. SHU will be the #2 seed and face #3 seeded Monmouth on Friday, April 25th in the semifinals.