Pioneers Mount Second Half Comeback; Eliminated in OT

Pioneers Mount Second Half Comeback; Eliminated in OT

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (November 12, 2010) – The Sacred Heart University men's soccer team is still seeking its first postseason victory in program history as the Pioneers, seeded second, were knocked out of the Northeast Conference Tournament with a 2-1 overtime defeat to number three Saint Francis (PA).

Senior midfielder Sean O'Reilly knocked in his second score of the game in the 96th minute to put the Red Flash into the conference championship game.  The game winner came off of a corner kick that knocked around the box until O'Reilly got a foot on it and pushed it into the far side netting.

O'Reilly, who entered the game with only one goal on the season, put Saint Francis on top when he one-timed a shot to the far post off a corner kick at the 15:22 mark of the first half.  Despite controlling much of the possession and outshooting the Red Flash 5-3, SHU went into the intermission down 1-0.

Senior goalkeeper Tyler Locatell (Goshen, N.Y.) was tested early on in the second, but came up with back-to-back diving saves in the 50th minute to keep the Pioneers within one.  For the game he made six saves, while his counterpart sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Valcicak stopped four shots.

Saint Francis outplayed Sacred Heart through much of the second half, but with the game entering its final stages Pioneer graduate student Patrick Daka (Chingola, Zambia) won a loose ball that was played forward by senior Mario Mililli (Shelton, Conn.) and moved through the Red Flash defense and lifted a shot over the keeper for the equalizing score.

The Pioneers, who were in their first postseason since 2007, finish the season 11-6-2 overall.  The 11 wins was a program record at the Division I level for Sacred Heart.
Saint Francis (10-6-1) advances to play the host Monmouth (13-1-4) tomorrow at 12:00 noon on the Great Lawn.