Nov. 9, 2007
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Freshman Lindsay Elliott (Orange, CT) scored the tying goal early in the second half, and then assisted on the game-winner by sophomore Ashley Testani Monroe, CT) as the Pioneer women's soccer team upset #2 seed Central Connecticut to advance to the Northeast Conference title game on Sunday.
The win raised the Sacred Heart record to 5-11-4, and it was the second time the Pioneers had beated CCSU in a week. SHU defeated Central 1-0 in Fairfield last Sunday to qualify for the playoffs.
The Blue Devils, who finish the season 9-9-1, took a 1-0 lead when sophomore Ciara Crinion fed fellow first team all-NEC honoree Rachel Caneen, who got in behind two Sacred Heart defenders and beat Sacred Heart freshman keeper Meghan Reichelt to the near post.
Elliott scored her first goal of the season with 29:58 left. Her shot hit off CCSU keeper Caity Casey's hands and then the post before crossing the line. SHU took the lead 3:15 later when Elliott found Testani at the top of the 18. Her shot from 20 yards out went above Casey's hands and under the crossbar.
Reichelt came up big for the Pioneers several times down the stretch to keep Central from evening the game. The Blue Devils outshot the Pioneers, 18-3, but the seven saves from the freshman keeper proved to be the difference.
The #3-seeded Pioneers will face top seed Monmouth, a 1-0 winner over LIU in the first game of the day, for the championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sunday at noon. The two teams tied 1-1 during the regular season. SHU won the league title in 2001, while Monmouth hasn't won since 1996.