The Sacred Heart University women's lacrosse team earned its first win of the season, defeating host Stetson University 13-10 Saturday afternoon in DeLand, Fla. The victory improves the Pioneers to 1-3 on the year, while the Hatters fell to 0-8.
Jesslyn Joseph (Bolton, Mass.) and Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, N.Y.) both recorded hat tricks in the game, with Vaccaro posting two assists for a game-high five points. Six different players scored a goal on the afternoon, five scoring at least twice, in a game that saw both teams record 27 shots. Sacred Heart cleared well, 16-19, while Stetson finished 11-19 in the contest.
Kelly Keenan picked up the win in net for Sacred Heart, stopping nine shots and picking up five ground balls. Caili Guilday stopped 13 shots for the Hatters, to go along with four ground balls. Sacred Heart finished with a 21-18 advantage in ground balls, while Stetson had a 13-12 edge in draw controls. Both teams committed 26 fouls in the game.
Stetson struck first, scoring 41 seconds into the game, but Alyssa Pearce (Shoreham, N.Y.) answered quickly for the Pioneers, netting an unassisted goal 79 seconds later. Kyle Calandra (Washington Township, N.J.) put the Pioneers ahead, 2-1, 48 ticks later, and that remained the score for 6:50, until Paige Levesque tied the game with a free position goal. The Hatters took the lead with 17:39 to play in the first-half on a Danielle Horgan unassisted tally.
Vaccaro scored her first goal nine seconds later, from an Alison Braig (Reisterstown, Md.) pass, to tie the score 3-3, and begin a Pioneer run. Emily Corrice (Sparta, N.J., 12:49 and Pearce (12:05) scored in the mini-run to give Sacred Heart a 5-3 advantage. The Hatters rallied again, scoring at 10:34 and 3:53 to again tie the score, 5-5, but a goal from Joseph, 2:18 before the break, put Sacred Heart in front again, this time for good, 6-5.
The squads traded goals in the opening 4:35 of the second-half, before back-to-back goals for the Pioneers gave SHU a 9-6 edge with 23:50 remaining in regulation. Stetson got back within a goal, 10-9, with 13:39 to play, before Joseph, twice, and Caitlin Delaney (Cherry Hill, N.J.), scored three of the final four goals to secure the Pioneer victory.
Braig secured four draw controls for Sacred Heart, with Joseph corralling three in the victory. Demi Lopez (Wading River, N.J.) had a team-best three caused turnovers, as nine Pioneers caused at least one Stetson miscue on the day.
The Pioneers return to action on Saturday, March 15 when they travel to Vermont for a 1 p.m. contest.