Senior goalkeeper Meghan Reichelt (Selden, NY) made nine saves for the Pioneers but the SHU women's soccer team still fell to the Bobcats 1-0 Friday afternoon. QU netted the lone goal of the contest with 7:05 remaining in regulation as Furtuna Velaj headed in her sixth goal of the season. The Bobcats outshot SHU 13-6 and took six corner kicks to the Pioneers' zero.
Sacred Heart (8-6-4, 4-3-2 NEC) nearly gave up an early goal but Reichelt came to the rescue with back-to-back saves in the span of ten seconds to keep the game scoreless. The Pioneers managed two shots on goal one each from Samantha Kee (Haskell, NJ) and Lia Palmacci (Groton, MA) but QU keeper Jillian Kelley made both saves to earn a clean sheet.
Quinnipiac (6-7-3, 4-2-3 NEC) forced Reichelt to make five saves in the opening stanza but could not solve the senior netminder. The Bobcats finally broke through in the 83rd minute as Jillian Strassner sent in a cross from the right side of the box. Velaj timed the play perfectly and made a diving header that found its way into the lower left corner of the net for the game winning score. Quinnipiac held off Sacred Heart's last minute flurry up the field as the Bobcats jump the Pioneers in the Northeast Conference standings.
The Pioneers are still in the hunt for a playoff spot but will need to win the final regular season game of the year Sunday at Central Connecticut State Sunday at 1:00 pm and get help. SHU advances to the NEC tournament with a victory as long as Quinnipiac and Monmouth do not both earn a win in their games as well.