FAIRIFELD, CT (March 24, 2013) - Junior Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, NY) tied the Sacred Heart Division I school record with 10 points in leading the Pioneers to a 15-12 win over Saint Mary's (CA) Sunday afternoon on Campus Field. Vaccaro scored five goals and dished five assists, both career-highs, as the Pioneers improve to 2-5 on the season.
The Pioneers (2-5) got three goals apiece from senior Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY), junior Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) and freshman Jesslyn Joseph (Bolton, MA) and sophomore Taylor Babin (Ellicott City, MD) tacked on the other Pioneer goal.
Russo gave the Pioneers the early lead, scoring 2:29 into the game, unassisted. The Gaels (2-5) took their only lead of the afternoon when Jaclyn Biggers scored back-to-back just 16 seconds apart for a 2-1 lead at 26:36. The Pioneers responded with three-straight and outscored the Gaels 6-1 over the next 17 minutes.
Vaccaro scored her only goal of the first half on the run while Pepe tacked on a pair. The Gaels closed the first half with a goal by Allie DeBruhl and opened the second half with markers by Rachel Minarovich and DeBruhl, forcing a SHU time-out trailing just 7-6 with 22:20 on the clock.
The Pioneers responded out of the time-out with three-straight, one by Russo and two-straight off the stick of Vaccaro to push the lead to 10-6. Sacred Heart extended their lead to 13-8 with 10 minutes left as Vaccaro set up scores by Joseph, Pepe and Babin.
Saint Mary's pulled within 13-10 as Biggers stuck for another two quick goals, this time 25 seconds apart at 7:58 and 7:33. Vaccaro pushed it to 14-10 at the 5:45 mark and after Gael goals cut it to 14-12, she iced the game away with her fifth with 2:50 left.
SHU held a 30-24 edge on shots and won the ground ball battle, 17-12. Vaccaro finished with seven of the Pioneer's 14 draw wins on the day. Defensively, SHU forced 18 turnovers and five failed Saint Mary's clears.
The Gaels got four goals from Biggers and three goals and an assist from DeBruhl. Goalkeeper Katherine Herzog had 11 saves in the loss.
The Pioneers return to Northeast Conference play fulltime as they hit the road for stops at Central Connecticut and Bryant this week.