NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team clinched an NEC Tournament berth Friday with a 13-10 win over the Central Connecticut Blue Devils at Arute Field.
The Pioneers will make their first appearance in the NEC Tournament since 2012 with Friday's victory. Caitlin Delaney led all players with six points on four goals and two assists. She also had five groundballs and three caused turnovers. Kylie Calandra and Jesslyn Joseph both had three goals and an assist. Emily Corrice had four groundballs and three caused turnovers.
Central Connecticut (3-12, 2-4 NEC) opened the game on a 3-0 run in the first 7:21, getting two goals from Madison Hughes and one from Jenna Henningsen. Sacred Heart got on the board 24 seconds after Hughes' second goal on a tally by Jesslyn Joseph. The Pioneers cut the deficit to one, 3-2, on an Averi Farhat goal at the 19:07 mark. CCSU and SHU traded two-goal runs late in the half, as a pair of Delaney goals got the Pioneers within one, 5-4, with 5:10 to play in the first. The Blue Devils took a 6-4 lead into halftime after Henningsen scored with 4:07 remaining.
Sacred Heart (8-6, 4-2 NEC) opened the second half on a 4-0 run to take an 8-6 lead. Kylie Calandra scored 51 seconds in with an assist from Delaney, who then scored her third goal of the game at the 26:34 mark to tie it at 6-6. Joseph put the Pioneers ahead 7-6 with 20:27 to play, then scored again with 17:06 remaining to extend the lead to 8-6. CCSU came back with two Henningsen tallies to tie the game 8-8 with 11:37 to play. The Pioneers went back in front with 11:00 remaining on a Farhat goal, assisted by Pearce, to take a 9-8 lead. After CCSU tied the game 9-9, SHU put the game away with a 4-1 run over the final 9:51. Calandra scored twice on the game-winning run as tallies by Pearce and Delaney helped SHU get to the 13-10 win.
SHU outshot CCSU 25-18 and had 22 groundballs to the Blue Devils' 20. Sacred Heart also won the draw control battle 15-10. Henningsen led Central Connecticut with four goals as Hughes also had four points on three goals and an assist.
The Pioneers close the regular season on Sunday at Bryant at 1 p.m.
- SHU did not score first for the first time in eight games.
- Corrice recorded her third assist of the season on Farhat's goal at the 19:07 mark.
- Shots in the first half were even 9-9.
- Delaney had four of her six points in the second half. Her two goals gave her a team-leading 34 for the year and 91 in her career. She had 34 goals last season.
- Joseph's two goals in the second half give her 29 for the season and 92 for her career.
- Calandra had all four of her points come in the second half. It was her second four-point game of the season.
- SHU outscored CCSU 5-1 in the first 19:00 of the second half to go up 9-8.