Lucy Gildein (Topsfield, MA) scored twice in the first half while Amanda Stiles (Miller Place, NY) and Alyssa Brandofino (East Northport, NY) also tallied goals in Sacred Heart's 4-2 win over Rider Sunday afternoon at Campus Field.
Rider (2-2-2) gained an early 1-0 lead as Jennifer Meier found the back of the net 34 seconds into the game. Meier intercepted a pass across the Pioneer defensive line and put it over the SHU goalkeeper for her first goal of 2010. The Pioneers almost evened the game nine minutes later as Samantha Kee (Haskell, NJ) had the ball bounce to her in a scrum in front of the net. The junior forward had her shot stopped by Broncs goaltender Alex Post for one of her four saves of the game.
Sacred Heart (4-2-1) got an equalizer from Gildein at the 30:14 mark as the freshman buried a loose ball in front of the net to make it a 1-1 affair. Kee supplied the cross on the play to pick up her first assist of the season. Stiles gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead five minutes later with her second marker of the year. Gildein made a long pass into space and Stiles beat the charging Rider goaltender to the ball to set up an easy finish.
Gildein struck again with 18:56 remaining in the half as Stiles provided the assist. Gildein settled the long cross at the top left corner of the 18 yard box and fired a perfect ball into the top right corner of the net to put SHU on top 3-1. Later in the half the freshman forward nearly finished off a first half hat trick but Post robbed Gildein on a point blank shot. The Pioneers outshot Rider 11-2 in the first half and took a 3-1 advantage into the locker room.
The Broncs cut the SHU lead in half on Abi Cottam's fifth goal of the season, which came 14 minutes into the second stanza. Cottam attempted to put a cross into the box but the Pioneer defense blocked the pass. But the Broncs caught a break as it caromed directly to Cotam's feet and she lofted it over the goalie and into the net.
The Pioneers extended the lead back to two goals at 4-2 midway through the half on Brandofino first collegiate goal. The freshman defender stepped up to a free kick 35 yards away from goal on the right side of the pitch. Brandofino ripped the shot over the pack of players in front and into the top left corner for the goal. Cottam had a golden opportunity for her second goal of the match as she found herself alone 10 yards out with 15:00 to play. The sophomore fanned on the shot and kept the Pioneers 4-2 advantage intact.
Sacred Heart outshot the Broncs 16-5 overall as they held on for the 4-2 victory and move to 4-1-1 at home in 2010. The women's soccer team returns home October 3 for a Northeast Conference battle with Bryant.