May 2, 2009
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 2, 2009) - Sacred Heart senior Mary Montesarchio (Cortlandt Manor, NY) scored four goals and dished out three assists but the Pioneers fell at the hands of the cross-town Fairfield Stags, 16-10, in the NCAA Play-In Game Saturday afternoon on Lessing Field. The Pioneers pulled within 9-8 with just under 21 minutes left in the second half but the Stags put the game away with a seven-goal run over a 13 minute span to come away with the win and the NCAA Tournament automatic berth.
The Stags (17-2) dominated the draw circle in the early minutes and were able to run out to a 5-0 lead getting off seven shots before the Pioneers could get on offense. Kristen Coleman, who finished with four goals and four assists, scored a pair unassisted and set up teammate Abbey Goodwin on the early run. After a timeout to settle into the game, the Pioneers finally found their offense as junior Jackie Pierce (Cortlandt Manor, NY) won the draw and Montesarchio got SHU on the board scoring unassisted at 23:30. SHU cut it to 5-2 as Cori Horelik (South Windsor, CT) buried a feed from senior Amanda Williams (Monroe, CT) at 21:29.
SHU (12-7) extended the run to four-straight to pull within 5-4 at 19:25 thanks to Montesarchio. The senior worked her way through traffic to the cage for her second unassisted score at 20:55 and set up junior Carissa Hauser (East Northport, NY) right in front of the cage for a score just 1:30 later.
The Stags pushed the lead back to three as the Coleman buried her third-straight followed by a goal from Goodwin, both unassisted. Coleman set up the next Fairfield goal as she earned an 8meter attempt and then dumped it down low to Erin Rigby who finished it off for an 8-4 advantage at 15:33. The game went scoreless for the next eight minutes before SHU's Hauser buried one unassisted at 5:59 to pull her team within 8-5. SHU tacked on another with 1:19 left in the first half as Hauser return the favor to Montesarchio from behind the net for her third of the afternoon. The Stags went to the locker room up 8-6 and held a 19-11 advantage on shots.
Fairfield's Rigby opened the second half scoring putting the Stags up three just 43 seconds into play scoring unassisted. The Pioneers got an 8meter free-position goal from Horelik at 27:15 and pulled within 9-8 at 20:55 as Hauser and Montesarchio hooked up for the third time on the day. Hauser fed Montesarchio again from behind the cage for her third of the afternoon to pull the Pioneers within one goal.
The Stags answered right back and took control of the game with a 7-0 rally thanks again to solid defense forcing seven SHU turnovers in the second half. Five different Stags scored on the run as Coleman scored her fourth and set up two more on the run to help her team grab a commanding 16-8 lead with 7:40 left. SHU tacked on two quick goals at 6:39 and 6:20 off the sticks of Pierce and Montesarchio but the Stags kept the Pioneers at bay the rest of the way.
Montesarchio's seven point afternoon was a season-high for the senior playing in the final game of her career. She ends her career with 185 total points on 101 goals and 91 assists. Her 91 helpers is a Sacred Heart school record for a career. The Stags were able to hold Williams, the Pioneer's top-scorer, to just an assist in the loss, marking the first time all season she has been held without a goal. Williams ends her career right behind Montesarchio on the all-time scoring list with 179 points on 136 goals and 43 assists.
Hauser finished the day with three goals and an assist while Horlik notched a pair. In the cage, junior Chelsea Wagner (Aurora, CO) made 11 saves in taking the loss.
The Stags held a 36-25 advantage on shots and won 14 draws, nine in the first half.