FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Senior midfielder Kristin Verrette (Saugus, Mass.) had a hat trick in the first half to lead the Sacred Heart women's soccer team past Delaware State 4-2 in the season opener at Campus Field Friday night.
Sacred Heart (1-0) went on the attack early with Verrette and Alexis Parlato (Center Moriches, N.Y.) combining for a run into the Delaware State third of the field, only to have a through ball taken away by the Hornets' goalkeeper Katelyn Koslosky in the fifth minute. The Pioneers broke through for their first goal in the seventh minute of the game, as a Verrette corner kick found its way into the net. The Pioneers controlled possession for a good part of the first half, and came close to taking a 2-0 lead in the 19th minute when a Verrette free kick just missed Corina DaSilva (Brookfield, Conn.) in the 18-yard box.
Delaware State (0-1) leveled the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute when Franny Farella took a Chelsea Boursiquot pass from 10 yards out and fired a high shot into the corner of the net and past Sacred Heart goalkeeper Talia Schwartz (Roslyn, N.Y.). Three minutes later, the Pioneers took back the lead. Parlato found Verrette in the box, who promptly fired a low shot past Koslosky to make the score 2-1. The Hornets attempted to tie the game in the 33rd minute with a free kick in the Sacred Heart end, but the Pioneers fought that off. Verrette capped off her hat trick three minutes before halftime. After having her initial shot deflected, the senior got the ball back and scored to give the Pioneers a 3-1 lead.
The Pioneers had a chance at a 4-1 lead 10 minutes into the second half, but freshman Maggie Falja's (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) shot was stopped by Koslosky. Falja would get another opportunity to score in the 72nd minute and took full advantage. The freshman took a clever one-touch of a Chandler Antczak (Kendall Park, N.J.) pass and scored her first career goal, making the score 4-1. Delaware State tacked on a goal in the 87th minute to make the final score 4-2.
Sacred Heart outshot Delaware State 23-7 in the game, including holding the Hornets to two shots in the second half. Schwartz needed to make just two saves for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers are back in action on Friday, August 29 with a 3 p.m. game at Iona.