GAME 13 * SACRED HEART VS. QUINNIPIAC * Friday, April 13, 2012 * 4:00 pm
GAME 14 * SACRED HEART AT BROWN * Saturday, April 14, 2012 * 6:00 pm
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers are right back in the NEC Playoff race after a 2-0 week in Pennsylvania as they return home to host conference leader and rival Quinnipiac Friday afternoon. SHU will then turn around and close out the non-conference portion of their schedule on Saturday with a trip to Brown. The Bobcats sit at 6-0 in the NEC as they continue the hunt for the regular season title and top-seed in for the tournament.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart senior Aurelie Pluijmakers and sophomore Kelsey Russo scored four goals apiece to lead the Pioneers to a 14-11 Northeast Conference win at Saint Francis (PA), sweeping the Western PA road swing. Junior attacker Emily Pepescored three goals and dished out four assists to lead the Pioneers with seven points in the win. SHU out shot the Red Flash 29-18, including 16-8 in the first half. The Pioneers dominated the draw circle with Russo winning five to lead SHU to a 17-7 advantage. The Pioneers doubled up Saint Francis in the first half, leading 8-4 at the break. SHU ran out to a 3-0 lead in the game's first nine minutes and extended their lead to 5-1 thanks to back-to-back goals by Russo and Pepe at 18:39 and 17:09. SFU cut the lead to 5-4 at the eight minute mark on Kate Simmons' second free position goal but SHU closed the first half on a 3-0 run to lead by four at the break. Pepe scored her third of the first have and the game at 7:20 to start the rally. The Red Flash continued to rally in the second half and twice cut the Pioneer lead to just one goal. SFU pulled within 8-6 seven minutes in off consecutive goals by Catherine Helming. She got the Red Flash started on a four-goal run with her third at 19:17 and by the 12:12 mark, Saint Francis had pulled within 11-10. Russo buried her third at 11:07 but Simmons tacked on her third at 9:24 to again pull within one. From there, SHU shut down the Red Flash offense and tacked on a pair of insurance goals en route to the win.
Pioneer News & Notes... Two more Pioneers collected NEC Player of the Week accolades for the first times in their careers this week...Junior Emily Pepe was named the NEC Co-Player of the Week while freshman Taylor Babingarnered NEC Rookie of the Week honors...Pepe matched her career-high of seven points in the win over Saint Francis (PA)...She scored seven points earlier this season in a loss to Fairfield (3g/4a) and seven in a win over the Red Flash last year (3g/4a)...Babin posted a career-high three goals in the win over SFU...Pepe eclipsed her scoring totals from last season and leads the Pioneers with 52 points and 31 assists...Her 31 assists ranks third in the SHU record book as she closes in on the season record of 38 set by Mary Montesarchio in 2008...Pepe needs one assist to tie Carissa Hauser's total from 2010...Her 58 career assists ranks third in the racord book behind Montesarchio (91) and Hauser (82)...Pepe ranks second in the NEC in assists per game (2.58) and points per game (4.33)...Senior Kate Kmiotek has moved into a tie for sixth place on the SHU all-time goal scoring list with 117, matching JoAnn Montesarchio (2002-05)...She stands tied for fourth on the Division I goal scoring list...Her 170 career points has moved her up to sixth on the scoring list all-time and fourth in the Division I annals...Kmiotek's 53 career assists trails Pepe in the all-time rankings...Pepe and Kmiotek are among four Pioneers who have 30 points or more this season...Pepe leads the bunch at 52 (21g/31a) followed by senior Aurelie Pluijmakers with 34 (31g/3a), senior Kaitlin Rochlerwith 32 (22g/10a) and Kmiotek with 30 (14g/16a)...Pluijmakers is sixth in the NEC in goals per game (2.58 pg).
All-Time Series vs. Quinnipiac... The Pioneers lead the all-time series 13-5 and are 4-1 against the Bobcats in the postseason since becoming a member of the Northeast Conference (1999-00). SHU beat Quinnipiac for the NEC Championship three-straight seasons in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Pioneers saw a four-game win streak against the Bobcats snapped last season with a loss in the regular season. QU picked up their first postseason win against SHU knocking the Pioneers from the tournament in the opening round on their way to their first-ever NEC title. The Pioneers are 8-2 at home, 4-3 in Hamden and 1-0 at neutral sites all-time against the Bobcats.
Scouting the Bobcats... The Quinnipiac Bobcats are riding a six-game winning streak since the start of conference play heading in to Friday's match-up. The Bobcats have won 10-straight NEC regular season games dating back to last season. QU sports the top-goal producing unit in the league, averaging 12.36 goals per game and is led by senior Marissa Caroleo who averages 3.18 goals per game (35 g). Junior Sarah Allen is the top-point scorer in the NEC, averaging 5.00 points per game (55 p) and leads the league in assists with 52 on the year (4.73 pg). Senior goalie Noelle Martello ranks third among NEC goalkeepers with a 10.87 goals against average.
All-Time Series vs. Brown... The Sacred Heart Pioneers have never beaten Brown, with the Bears winning all six previous meetings. The two teams have met every season since 2006.
Scouting the Bears... Brown welcomes Sacred Heart to campus at 5-5 and 1-3 in the Ivy League as they also round out their non-conference schedule. The Bears close out their regular season with road stops at Yale and Penn before returning home to host Cornell. The Bears average 11.10 goals per game while allowing 11.80. Senior Kaela McGilloway leads her team in goals (18) and assists (20), collecting 38 points on the year. McGilloway ranks third among Ivy League leaders in assists per game (2.00 pg) and fourth in points per game (3.80 pg). Freshman Kellie Roddy is seventh among Ivy goalies with an 11.72 goals against average and a .361 save percentage.
Around the NEC... The Northeast Conference enters the final two weeks of the regular season with the race for the four tournament spots heating up...Quinnipiac is out front with a two-game lead in first place (6-0)...Just one game separates the teams in second through seventh place with the Pioneers and Mount St. Mary's sitting tied for second (4-2)...CCSU and Bryant are both tied at 3-2 with Monmouth at 3-3 and Robert Morris at 2-3 heading down the stretch...SHU's Emily Pepewas joined by Lauren Sheridan of Bryant in sharing NEC Player of the Week honors this week…Pepe posted 11 points including the game winning goal in a double overtime affair with Robert Morris, while Sheridan collected her 100th career goal in a tight game with Mount St. Mary's en-route to recording ten points on the weekend…Bryant's Lauren Filippone and Quinnipiac's Noelle Martello both posted performance worthy of NEC Defensive Player of the Week accolades as Filippone collected six caused turnovers and posted .571 save percentage while Martello notched .692 save percentage and 4.34 goals against average for the weekend…SHU's Babin earned Rookie honors after after tallying six points on the weekend including the assist on Pepe's overtime game winner against Robert Morris.