Piscataway, NJ – A Sacred Heart second half comeback fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Pioneers' field hockey team lost at Rutgers 5-3.
Trailing 3-0 entering halftime, the Pioneers (1-1) scored three unanswered goals in the first fourteen minutes of the second half to tie the game at 3-3. Danielle Gallagher got the Pioneers on the board first just four minutes into the half when she put a Rachel Claroni pass into the back of the net after a penalty corner. The goal was Gallagher's third of the season. Christine Mace was next to score for the Pioneers less than seven minutes later. The comeback was complete when Lauren Harrison scored in front of net to tie the game with just over 21 minutes remaining in the game. For Harrison, it was the first goal of her collegiate career.
Just when it seemed that SHU had gethered the momentum, Rutgers (2-0) would bounce back to score the final two goals of the game in a four minute stretch to win the match 5-3. The eventual game-winning goal was scored with just under 14 minutes remaining after a penalty corner was awarded to the Scarlet Knights. Katie Champion was able to deflect a shot by Sofia Walia into the back of the net to break the 3-3 tie. With ten minutes remaining, the Scarlet Knights would put the game away for good when Sophie Wright deflected in another Walia shot sent in after a corner.
Rutgers got off to a quick start scoring two goals in the first 18 minutes of the game. Alyssa Bull put the Scarlet Knights in front in the 13th minute. Five minutes later, Champion put in a rebound for a 2-0 lead. Wright added a third goal with just over three minutes remaining to put Rutgers up 3-0 going into the half.
SHU goalkeeper Mary Altepeter (1-1) saved seven shots in the defeat. Winning goalie Shevaun Hayes recorded six saves to improve her record to 2-0 on the year. Rutgers outshot the Pioneers 18-13, including 10-6 in the first half. Sacred Heart held an advantage in penalty corners by a final total of 8-5. Claroni, Liz Bergman, and Lauren Lawson picked up the assists for Sacred Heart. For Lawson, it was her first career collegiate point. Walia tallied three assists for the Scarlet Knights.
The Pioneers will look to bounce back on Friday, September 5th when they face Hofstra. The game is scheduled to start at 4 PM at Yale University in New Haven, CT.