Pioneers Win Northeast Conference Opener 1-0 on Testani's Late Goal
Sept. 29, 2009
Fairfield, CT - Ashley Testani (Monroe, CT) scored the game's only goal on a converted free kick in the 88th minute to lift the Sacred Heart women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Tuesday night. The Pioneers outplayed the Knights all game taking an amazing 24 shots to FDU's four. The victory is Sacred Heart's third 1-0 triumph of the season as Meghan Reichelt (Selden, NY) made two saves to record her fourth shutout in 2009.
Sacred Heart (5-4-0, 1-0-0 NEC) dominated the first half taking seven shots while holding the Knights without a single attempt on net. Samantha Kee (Haskell, NJ) had the first scoring chance just minutes into the game but her looping shot sailed just over the crossbar. Lindsay Elliott (Orange, CT) had a chance at point blank range with 30:00 to play in the half but the charging FDU keeper made the save to keep the game scoreless. Sacred Heart would have one more opportunity in the half as Leigh Dogmantis (Walnutport, PA) ripped a low shot through traffic that the goalie saw at the last instant to make a diving save.
Fairleigh Dickinson (2-7-0, 0-1-0 NEC) dodged another bullet early in the second half as Alex Mack’s (Freeport, ME) shot looked destined to break the scoreless tie before Tanzi was able to make a fingertip save. Kee had another great chance to score fifteen minutes into the half but her header went just wide on the SHU corner kick. The pressure continued as Elliott let loose another shot just one minute later that barely missed the frame wide right.
The Knights had their best opportunity to score with 14:00 to play on a long shot from Amy Flanagan but Reichelt rose above the crowd in front of her goal and punched the ball away to keep the game scoreless. As time ticked down the Pioneers continued their enormous pressure and with 4:45 remaining Elliott let a rocket go from just inside the penalty box but was again robbed by Tanzi who made a fantastic diving save.
The Pioneers would finally break through with just 2:56 to play on Testani's free kick. The SHU attack earned their senior midfielder the chance on goal after being fouled inches outside the penalty box. The team's senior captain calmly stepped forward and blasted the game winner into the left side of the net past a diving Tanzi.
Today's win marks the first time since 2006 SHU has opened conference play with a victory. Sacred Heart will continue NEC play this weekend as they head to Pennsylvania for games against Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA). The Pioneers return home October 9th for a Northeast Conference tilt with Central Connecticut.