FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Cassie Cesario scored the game-winning goal with 1:01 remaining Friday to push the Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team past the Saint Francis U Red Flash 15-14 at Campus Field.
Caitlin Delaney had a team-high five points on four goals and an assist, adding six draw controls and six caused turnovers. Liana Doyle also scored four goals. Cesario and Alyssa Pearce each scored a pair of goals. Paige Hammick made eight saves in goal.
Sacred Heart (5-10, 3-3 NEC) jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first 10 minutes. Delaney scored the Pioneers' first two goals with Pearce and Doyle each adding one. Saint Francis U responded with a 3-0 run over a span of 1:52, as two goals from Holly Lawrence and a Sarah Mahon goal tied the game 4-4 with 17:16 to go in the half. The Pioneers broke the tie with a 3-0 run of their own as Cesario's first goal at the 8:37 mark made the score 7-4. The Red Flash cut the deficit to two by halftime on a free position goal by Jessica Mazzur with 0:02 left in the half.
Saint Francis U (6-9, 1-5 NEC) cut the deficit to one in the second half on a Lawrence goal at the 22:36 mark of the second half, making the score 8-7. The two sides then traded goals for the next eight minutes, with a Pearce goal giving the Pioneers a 12-10 lead with 14:42 remaining. The Red Flash tied the game with 8:00 to go on goals by Mahon and Lawrence. Doyle and Averi Farhat then scored goals 0:36 apart to put SHU back up by two, 14-12, with 6:15 left in regulation. Saint Francis U tied the game again. This time, Sydney Davis scored two goals to make the score 14-14 with 2:16 to go. Cesario put SHU back in front, 15-14, with 1:01 left. The Pioneers then grabbed the ensuing draw control and ran out the clock to secure the win.
SHU outshot Saint Francis U 34-26 and had 15 groundballs to the Red Flash's six. The Pioneers also forced 21 turnovers. Lawrence led all scorers with five goals, with Mahon adding four.
The Pioneers close out the regular season on Sunday, April 30 at 12 p.m. on Campus Field against Robert Morris for Senior Day. A SHU win, coupled with a Mount St. Mary's loss, will qualify the Pioneers for their second straight NEC Tournament appearance.