By Thomas Scavetta
The top-ranked Pioneers found themselves trailing 7-5 early on in the second half, but used a 6-1 run to sneak away with an 11-9 win in a back-and-forth battle against Stonehill (rank no.15) on Saturday, April 12th, at Hickox Field in Brookeville, N.Y.
Stonehill’s Kelsey Shannahan tied up the game at the 18:07 mark of the second half, but the Pioneers would go on another three-goal surge, capped off with the deciding marker courtesy of senior midfielder, Katie Rotan, which secured the Green sand Gold’s victory. Junior midfielder Jenna Pierro and freshman midfielder/defender Cara Douglas gave the Pioneers some insurance with a goal apiece.
Senior attacker Jackie Sileo finished the game with seven points (1 G, 6 A). Senior attacker Samantha Losco added two goals and one assist, and Rotan had a dominant showing on top of her game-winning goal by scoring three markers and causing two turnovers.
Freshman attacker Stefani Vagelatos continued to impress as she scored two goals along with Douglas, who scooped up three ground balls and caused two turnovers along with her one goal. Sophomore defender Honey Roche collected two ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers. Pierro also won four draw controls, two ground balls, and caused one turnover.
In the pen, senior goalie Katie Hannan accumulated six saves for the Green and Gold, who held a 20-19 edge in shots and won the ground ball battle (15-11). The Skyhawks’ goalkeeper, Ashley Armstrong, made five saves in the cage.
After the game, Rotan said that the team was focused the whole game and had the momentum needed to win. Rotan mentioned that she is looking forward to the East Coast Conference Tournament because it’s a very strong conference. She also believes that the NCAA Tournament will be a true testing of how strong the team really is.
As a senior, Rotan said that being with six other seniors brings back memories, and that this senior class was very close. Rotan quoted, “It’s not what you wish for, it’s what you worked for.”
Saturday’s home finale against the University of the District of Columbia Saturday, April 19th, was cancelled; no make-up date has been announced. The Pioneers will return to action Thursday, April 24, when they collide with New Haven in a non-conference showdown in West Haven, Connecticut. The opening draw is set for 4 p.m.