The Pioneer women's soccer team escaped with a 4-3 win over Saint Peter's Friday night at Campus Field. Sacred Heart exploded for three first-half goals and held a 4-0 lead after 47 minutes of play. The Peahens battled back to within one but SHU held off the visitors and earned the victory.
Sacred Heart (2-1-0) wasted no time opening the scoring, striking first 54 seconds into the game. Amanda Stiles (Miller Place, NY) found herself with the ball on the left side of the penalty box and pushed a pass into the center. Freshman Lucy Gildein (Topsfield, MA) fired a shot from the penalty spot into the lower right corner of the cage for her first collegiate goal. Stiles earned the assist on the play that gave SHU an early 1-0 advantage.
Gildein almost scored her second marker of the game at the 31:15 mark as she hit a one-timed volley from inside the box that forced a save. The Pioneers would extend the lead six minutes later as Leigh Dogmanits (Walnutport, PA) notched her first goal of the year. Stiles picked up her second assist of the night on a pass that setup Dogmanits' long range shot that beat Saint Peter's goalkeeper Erin Ronan to her left.
The Pioneers distanced themselves from the visitors with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half as Samantha Kee (Haskell, NJ) netted her second marker of 2010. The junior forward intercepted a pass across the Peahen defensive line and slotted it home against the goalkeeper one-on-one to make it a 3-0 affair.
Saint Peter's (0-1-0) finished the first half with three shots on goal but Meghan Reichelt (Selden, NY) was equal to the task, stopping each attempt. The two teams went to the locker room tied with five shots overall and the Peahens holding a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. But the Pioneers headed into the intermission ahead 3-0 on the scoreboard.
SHU started the second half right where they left off as they stretched the lead to 4-0 just 1:34 into the second stanza. Freshman Alyssa Brandofino (East Northport, NY) earned the assist on the play as she swung in a long, high pass on a Pioneer free kick. Jen Mulvey (Manalapan, NJ) leaped over the pack and headed home her first goal of the season. Only nine minutes later Gildein again made a strong bid for her second goal of the night. Kee provided a perfect through ball to spring Gildein free but the freshman forward's shot rang off the crossbar.
The Peahens stunned SHU with back-to-back goals starting with 16:30 remaining in regulation, cutting the Pioneer lead in half. Emily Fenice added the first tally when a rebound left Reichelt out of position and allowed the Saint Peter's forward to loft the ball into the net. Maria Tommasini made it a 4-2 contest as she found the net on a 30-yard shot that snuck over the outstretched hand of the Pioneer keeper.
Reichelt came up with a big save with 6:15 to play as she knocked away a hard shot from Courtney Sundstrom. The save would later prove to be the difference as Saint Peter's came within one 30 seconds later. It was Fenice who did the damage again, putting in her second goal of the night after a Peahen corner kick.
The Sacred Heart defense would hold on down the stretch as the Pioneers came away with the 4-3 victory. The women's soccer team returns to action in the final game of their opening home stand Sunday afternoon at 1:00 against Binghamton.