(Fairfield, CT) – The Sacred Heart Women's Soccer team earned its first win of the season, beating the Lafayette Leopards 2-1 in the home opener before almost 400 fans Friday night at Campus Field.
The Pioneers generated the game's first chances, starting in the 27th minute. Jillian Picinich (Bellmore, NY) nearly snuck inside on an over-the-top pass, but her header in the box was stopped as she got in too tight on the Lafayette keeper Lauren Smedley. However, minutes later, Picinich did set up SHU's first goal, sending Jen Mulvey (Mananapan, NJ) into the box on an over-the-top pass. Mulvey then chipped a shot over the keeper, tucking it under the cross bar for a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.
The Pioneers stormed out of the gates in the second half, with Ashley Moore (Levittown, NY) following a shot by Kristin Verrette (Saugus, MA) for a rebound goal after the initial save. Verrette drove a low shot on goal, and with the ball lying at the feet of the goalkeeper, Moore sent it in in the 50th minute to open up a 2-0 SHU lead.
Talia Schwartz (Roslyn, NY) made four saves in the second half, including two game-saving stops. In the 64th minute, Samantha Potoczak tried cutting the lead in half with a drive from the left wing to the far post, but Schwartz made a lunging save to her left. That left a rebound for Laura Zito, but her shot shanked off the near post. Schwartz made another good save in the 75th minute, taking away a bicycle shot by Jaclyn Giordano from the low right side of the box with a diving right-hand stop. Schwartz entered the game to start the second half, following starting goalkeeper Sydney Judkins (South Park, PA), who did not have to make any saves on Lafayette's four off-target first-half shots.
Lafayette gave Sacred Heart a scare late, as Giordano did eventually score on a breakaway off a giveaway just outside the box in the 84th minute. Moments later, Zito nearly broke in on a similar turnover, but was ruled offsides on a close play.
SHU returns to action Sunday afternoon when the Pioneers host Manhattan at 2:00 pm.