Sacred Heart Suffers 11-10 Overtime Loss at Iona in Season Opener

Aurelie Pluijmakers
Aurelie Pluijmakers

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (February 22, 2012) - The Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team opened their 2012 season Wednesday afternoon at Iona, falling 11-10 when Casey Scully scored the game-winner 56 seconds into the third overtime session.  SHU senior Aurelie Pluijmakers (Freehold, NJ) scored three goals, including the game-tying marker to send the game into overtime.

The Pioneers (0-1) and Gaels (1-1) traded goals in the first overtime session, with Scully scoring off a feed from Brenna Lade.  Iona looked to be closing in on the win before SHU junior Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) knotted the game back up at 10-10 converting a pass from freshman Taylor Babin (Ellicott City, MD).    After a scoreless second overtime session, the Gaels grabbed their first victory of 2012 off the stick of Scully, her third of the game.

Sacred Heart fell behind 3-0 to open the game but used a 5-1 run to close the first half.  Four different Pioneers scored in the first half, starting with senior Kaitlin Rochler (Wading River, NY) who buried a feed from Pepe to start a string of four-straight scores.  Pluijmakers tacked on her first and notched her second after a Pepe from Babin tally.

Sophomore Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, NY) gave the Pioneers a 5-4 lead at the half, beating the halftime horn with an unassisted goal with 13 seconds left.  The Pioneers overcame seven first half turnovers and were out shot 13-9 over the first 30 minutes.  The Gaels scored three of their four goals on 8-meter free position attempts.

The Gaels tied it at 24:52 in the second half on a goal by Meghan Testoni but sophomore Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) got on the scoreboard just 30 seconds later on a feed from Rochler.  Iona's Emily Taddei tied it at 18:25 but Russo again answered and put SHU up 7-6 with 16:35 on the clock.  Senior Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY) scored from Vaccaro to put the Pioneers up two, 8-6 just two minutes later.

Iona's Nina Veneziale started a three-goal run at 14:36 to put the Gaels up 9-8.  Taddei and Veneziale scored back-to-back at 10:37 and 10:06.  Pluijmakers pulled the game even with 4:20 left in regulation, setting up the overtimes.

Pepe finished with four points on two goals and two assists.  Freshman Kelly Keenan (Wantagh, NY) made her first career start and turned in 15 saves in the loss.

The Pioneers will be off until Friday, March 2nd when they play host to Niagara in their 2012 home opener on Campus Field.  Opening draw is 3:00 pm