Pioneer Stay in NEC Playoff Hunt with 2-0 Win over Saint Francis
Oct. 27, 2006
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 27, 2006) - The Sacred Heart women's soccer team kept their Northeast Conference Tournament hopes alive Friday afternoon, posting a 2-0 shutout over Saint Francis University on Campus Field. The Pioneers are now 4-3-1 in the NEC with the win and jump the Red Flash in the standings into fourth place with one game to go.
The play stayed in the midfield in the opening moments until Sacred Heart (5-12-1, 4-3-1 NEC) started to bring the offensive pressure in the fifth minute. Sophomore Brittney Dupee (Portland, ME) played a cross to the middle that found the foot of freshman Stina Flodin (Stockholm, Sweden) who chipped a shot that cleared the cross bar but got SHU's offense started.
The Red Flash (7-8-2, 3-4-2 NEC) got their best scoring chance of the day in the 21st minute. Saint Francis played a ball that forced SHU goalkeeper Ashley Mocarski (Stratford, CT) to come out and try to make a play. The Red Flash pressured the play and the ball squirted out to Ashlie Knowles who had a wide open net but her shot from 25 yards out sailed wide left. SFPA got a breakaway chance in the 28th minute but with Kirsten Hoffsmith closing in on Mocarski, Pioneer defender Janice Rodriguez (Clinton, CT) chased down the play from behind and thwarted the threat.
SHU senior Lisa Burbige (Babylon, NY) got the Pioneer offense on the board in the 32nd minute with her fifth goal of the year and what proved to the game-winner, her third this season. Junior Allison Rojas (Manorville, NY) sent a cross to the top of the box where Burbige collected the pass and blasted a shot in the left corner of the net past Red Flash keeper Melanie Stockman.
The Pioneer defense clamped down in the second half, not allowing a Red Flash shot, while keeping the offensive pressure on, putting the game away with their second goal in the 75th minute. Freshman Christina Soave (Stamford, CT) blasted a shot that beat Stockman but caromed off the cross bar. Junior Patricia Santangelo (Rocky Hill, CT) was able to get her head on the rebound and angle a shot over the top of the defense and Stockman for her first career goal and the icing on a 2-0 win.
Sacred Heart held a 15-3 shot advantage and earned eight corners to Saint Francis's two. Mocarski need only make one save in earning her second-straight shutout and fourth of the season. Stockman had six saves in taking the loss.
The Pioneers host Robert Morris at 12 noon on Sunday in the regular season finale. A win will clinch the Pioneers their seventh-straight trip to the NEC Tournament. SHU is currently one point (13) behind Central Connecticut (14) for third and two points ahead of the Red Flash (11) and Quinnipiac (11) in fifth. A tie or loss against the Colonials and the Pioneers will need help depending on the outcome of the Quinnipiac/CCSU and Saint Francis/Fairleigh Dickinson games on Sunday.