March 29, 2012

Pioneers Host Monmouth and the Mount in NEC Play

GAME 09 * SACRED HEART VS. MONMOUTH * Friday, March 30th * 3:00 pm

Live Stats * Live Video

Game 10 * SACRED HEART VS. MOUNT ST. MARY'S * Sunday, April 1st * 1:00 pm

Live Stats * Live Video

Setting the Scene...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers are riding high after a 2-0 start to the Northeast Conference schedule last week as they welcome Monmouth and Mount St. Mary's to Campus Field this weekend.  SHU posted a season-high 22 goals in a 22-8 win at LIU Brooklyn and came back from down two goals at the half to beat Wagner 12-10 for a 2-0 start to league play.  The Monmouth Hawks are 1-1 after splitting at Saint Francis (PA) and Robert Morris while Mount swept the Red Flash and Colonials to sit unbeaten along with SHU, Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut State at the start of the league slate.

Last Time Out...  SHU erased a 7-5 halftime deficit with seven second half scores on their way to a 12-10 win at Wagner on Sunday.  Sophomore Kelsey Russo scored four goals to lead the SHU attack, hitting on two-of-three 8-meter attempts.  The Pioeners opened the game jumping out to a 4-1 lead but Wagner closed out the first half on a 5-0 run to lead 7-5 at the break.  SHU dominated the second half, out shooting Wagner 19-8 while converting on three-of-six 8-meter attempts.  The Pioneers also upped their game in the draw circle, winning seven of 10.  SHU used a pair of three-goal runs to take control of the game.  Tied a 9-9 with just under 10 mintues to play, the trio of Russo, Katilin Rochler and Taylor Babin went to work to give the Pioneers the lead for good en route to victory.  Russo added six draw controls and four ground balls to her game totals.  Senior Aurelie Pluijmakers finished off a big week with a pair of goals in the win.

Pioneer News & Notes...   Senior Aurelie Pluijmakers continued her scoring tear and set a new Pioneer record in earning the first NEC Player of the Week award of her career...Pluijmakers finished the week with 10 goals and two assists...Pluijmakers set a new SHU Division I record with eight goals in the win over LIU Brooklyn...Adding in her two assists, she matched the school mark of 10 points in a game set by former Pioneer Carissa Hauser against Robert Morris in 2009...She ranks fourth among league leaders with 23 goals, 2.88 per game...SHU has three players ranked in the top-10 in points per game in junior Emily Pepe (2.38) in third, Pluijmakers in ninth (3.25) and senior Kaitlin Rochler in 10th (3.12)...Pepe is second in the NEC in assists with 19 (2.38 pg)...Freshman goalie Kelly Keenan was honored as the NEC's top-rookie this week, posting 17 saves to help beat LIU and Wagner...Keenan has a 12.92 goals against average and ranks third in saves per game (10.50) and sixth in save percentage (.447)...Sophomore Kelsey Russo is third in the NEC in draw controls, winning 32 (4.00 pg).

All-Time Series vs. Monmouth...  The Hawks lead the all-time series, 10-6.  Monmouth dominated the series in the early years but it has been the Pioneers who have had the advantage of late, winning five of the last six meetings.  The two teams have met four times in the post season, splitting the four meetings.  SHU beat the Hawks on their way to the 2008 and 2009 NEC Championships.  MU beat SHU 10-5 for the 2006 NEC title. 

Scouting the Hawks...  Monmouth comes in at 2-8 overall and 1-1 in the NEC after beating Saint Francis (PA), 11-6, but falling to Robert Morris, 9-8, last weekend.  Their win over SFU snapped a four-game slide.  Sophomore midfielder Alex Marino ranks 10th in the league in goals, scoing 20 times on the year.  Senior attacker is the only other Hawk with double digit goals, scoring 15 goals.  MU is averaging just 7.20 goals per game while allowing 13.20 goals per outing.

All-Time Series vs. Mount St. Mary's...  Mount St. Mary's holds an 8-6 advantage in the all-time series with Sacred Heart.  The Pioneers have won three-straight and four of the last five meetings.  The Pioneers and Mount have split their two meetings in the NEC Tournament.  SHU beat the Mountaineers 14-5 on Campus Field on the way to the 2012 NEC Championship.  The Mount beat SHU 6-5 in the 2004 NEC Semifinal on their way to winning their first ever title.

Scouting the Mount...  After a 1-7 start to their season, Mount St. Mary's got on the right track last weekend with a 12-8 win over Robert Morris and a 13-10 win over Saint Francis (PA), both at home.  The Mount comes in averaging a league-low 7.20 goals per game.  Junior attacker Kaitlin Larrimore leads the Mount with 22 goals, tied for 10th in the NEC.  Freshman Erin Seipp has a 11 goals and five assists, second on the club. 

NEC News & Notes...  In addition to SHU's Aurelie Pluijmakers and Kelly Keenan taking home weekly awards, Quinnipiac's Sarah Allen and Robert Morris' Erin Mossop also collected weekly honors...QU's Allen was Co-Offensive Player of the Week with Pluijmakers after scoring two goals and dishing 17 assists in wins over LIU Brooklyn and Wagner...Mossop earned Rookie of the Week honors after booking eight goals in games against Mount and Monmouth...Heading into the second weekend of conference play, four teams sit unbeaten at the top of the standings in SHU, CCSU, Mount and Quinnipiac.