The Sacred Heart University women's lacrosse team dropped a 15-8 decision at Monmouth University Saturday afternoon in a non-conference contest. The loss drops the Pioneers to 2-5 on the year, while the Hawks improve to 2-5.
Monmouth started quickly, scoring six times in the first 9:40 of action to take a 6-0 edge. The Pioneers answered with three goals in an 88-second stretch, beginning at the 19:47 mark of the first-half, when Jenna Liljeberg (Wrentham, Mass.) netted a pass from Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, N.Y.). Vaccaro converted a free position shot 21 seconds later, and then Jesslyn Joseph (Bolton, Mass.) did so with 18:19 to play in the first-half, as the Pioneers cut the deficit in half, 6-3.
Just over a minute later the Hawks answered, scoring at the 17:11 and 16:38 marks to push the advantage back to five, 8-3. The Pioneers finished the half with consecutive goals, as Vaccaro fed Caitlin Delaney (Cherry Hill, N.J.) at the 14:31 mark, and then scored her second with 10 ticks left in the half, sending the game to break with the Hawks leading 8-5.
The second half started in similar fashion, as Monmouth rattled off the first seven goals of the period, building a 15-5 lead with 7:45 to play in regulation. Vaccaro netted three free position goals in the final 4:58 of play for the final margin.
Vaccaro scored a game-high seven points to lead the Pioneers. She scored five times, going 4-5 from eight-meters, and added two assists, as well as a ground ball and a draw control. Delaney, Kelly Keenan (Wantagh, N.Y.) and Demi Lopez (Wading River, N.Y.) each had four ground balls, as the Pioneers finished with a 20-18 edge in that category. Keenan made 13 saves in net for the Pioneers.
Monmouth had five players tally four or more points on the afternoon, led by four-goal, one-assist efforts from Allison Stathius and Danielle Rakowitz. Emily Barbieri had two goals and three assists, while Cassie Campasano and Kaleigh Gibbons each had four points in the outing. Katie Donohoe earned the win, stopping three shots, against six goals allowed, in 55:06 of action in net. Caroline Huelster allowed two goals, with one save, in 4:54 of play.
The Pioneers return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they host cross-town rival Fairfield University. The 3 p.m. match, the third straight against a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will be played on Campus Field.