By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor
On Thursday, March 19, the eighth-ranked Pioneers commenced a three-game home stand as they beat up on Philadelphia University 20- 11, in non-conference action at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium in Brookville, N.Y.
Sophomore midfielder Connor Bird had a field day as she scored a career-high eight points. In addition, Bird also won seven draw controls in the victory. Red-shirt sophomore Emily Delaney racked up six points, five ground balls, and three caused turnovers. Senior midfielder Jenna Pierro and sophomore attacker Stefani Vagelatos each tallied four points apiece.
The Pioneers netted seven unanswered goals after trailing 2-0 and never looked back. LIU Post outshot the Rams by a count of 36-25. The hosts totaled 23 ground balls and 20 draw controls compared to Philadelphia’s 17 ground balls and 13 face-offs. To add to the stat-line, the Green and Gold also converted 15-of-19 clears and 8-of-12 free- position attempts.
The Pioneers returned on Saturday, March 21, where they won a low-scoring defensive battle against Roberts Wesleyan College, 6-4, in an East Coast Conference tilt.
Following a late second half rally, the squad held on as the Redhawks’ comeback effort fell short after falling into a 5-0 hole. Pierro put the game to bed as she scored her third goal of the contest, giving the hosts a 6-3 edge with under nine minutes remaining.
Vagelatos and Pierro both found the back of the net twice in the opening stanza as the hosts took a 4-0 lead into halftime. The Pioneers controlled the tempo for the entire period and limited scoring opportunities for the visitors.
Once Delaney scored to put the Pioneers up 5-0 at the 26:07 mark of the second half, the Redhawks put all hands on deck and started attacking the net. Sophomore attacker Cassley Jackowski scored three consecutive goals in an eight-minute span to cut the deficit to 5-3. However, the visitors’ glimpse of hope was quickly adjourned when the Pioneers milked the clock and tacked on another score.
LIU Post goaltender Olivia Kirk made two saves in the cage, but only faced six shots on goal the entire game. The Green and Gold held the advantage in every single category, recording 24 shots, 26 caused turnovers, 23 ground balls, and nine draw controls.
Head Coach Meghan McNamara and the Pioneers will close out their three-game home stand when they take the field today against East Coast Conference foe, Saint Anselm College. Opening draw is scheduled for 3 p.m.