Balanced Scoring Leads Sacred Heart Past Wagner, 19-7

Kelsey Russo
Kelsey Russo

FAIRFIELD, CT (April 17, 2011) – Sacred Heart freshman Kelsey Russo (Lidenhurst, NY) scored a career-high five goals and four other players scored three goals each as the Pioneers dominated the second half in a 19-7 win over Wagner College Sunday afternoon in Northeast Conference play.  The Pioneers won their third-straight improving to 5-9 overall and 4-3 in the NEC.  Sacred Heart recognized their three graduating seniors in Elizabeth Drehwing (Wyckoff, NJ), Jessica Ingrilli (Wantagh, NY) and Nicole Messina (Smithtown, NY) before the start of the game.

Offensively, the Pioneers (5-9, 4-3 NEC) outshot the Seahawks (3-11, 2-5 NEC) 41-15 and dominated possession winning 21 of the 28 draws taken.  Juniors Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY) and Kaitlin Rochler (Wading River, NY), sophomore Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) and freshman Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, NY) all scored three goals apiece in the win.  Rochler and Vaccaro also passed out three assists each while Kmiotek and Pepe had two helpers.

The two teams traded goals to open the scoring with Russo notching her first at 26:00 and Lauren Petrik scoring just 42 seconds later.  SHU used the next 10 minutes to rattle off a five-goal run with four different Pioneers scoring on the run. Rochler gave the Pioneers a 6-1 lead with 14:36 burying her second of a feed from junior Alyssa Dorsey (Massapequa, NY).

Wagner cut the lead to 6-3 with back-to-back scores from Melanie Garces and Sam Morin but SHU's Vaccaro scored on an 8-meter attempt with 10 minutes left to end the threat of the a run.  SHU and Wagner would again trade goals back and forth three times into the half with Morin scoring with nine seconds left to send the game into the break with SHU up 9-6.

The second half was all Sacred Heart as the Pioneers outshot the Seahawks 20-5 and ran away with the game outscoring Wagner 10-1.  SHU forced 10 turnovers and left no doubt running off five-straight goals in the first eight minutes of the half to put the game out of reach.  Russo scored a pair of goals on the opening run and Kmiotek buried a Rochler feed with 22:13 left to put SHU up 14-6.  Wagner briefly halted the Pioneer attack as Annie O'Connor scored at 21:47 but Sacred Heart closed it out from there with another five-goal rally to win it 19-7.

Russo finished the day with seven points, adding two assists to her five goals.  She was also a force on draws with five wins.  Ingrilli scored a goal and added six draws, three ground balls and two caused turnovers.  Sophomore Megan Pepe (East Quogue, NY) made four saves in earning the win in goal.

The Pioneers enter the final week of the regular season with a pair of road games at Monmouth and Mount St. Mary's on the slate.  SHU is a game back of a playoff spot with a 4-3 record with the Hawks and Mount both sitting at 5-2.