NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The wins keep on coming for the Sacred Heart field hockey team as the Pioneers took down Lehigh, 3-2, in non-conference play from Johnson Field on Sunday afternoon. A third straight win for SHU ups their record to 4-11 overall while Lehigh drops to 5-9 with the loss. This marks the third straight win for the Pioneers, signaling the team's longest win streak since the 2014 campaign.
Three different goal scorers provided the offense for SHU as Colleen McAninley, Kayla Kruk and Makenna Crawford scored to account for the Pioneer goal scoring. Crawford added an assist on McAninley's second quarter goal to give her a career-high three points on the day while Crawford has scored a goal in all three games during the SHU win streak.
An incredible defensive effort saw the goalkeeping tandem of Hailey Power (six saves, 0 goals allowed) and Alyssa Stevens (nine saves, two goals allowed) combine for 15 saves as the Pioneers thwarted a Lehigh second half onslaught that saw the Mountain Hawks rack up 17 shots (12 on-target) in the final two quarters combined. Power picked up the victory, playing the first 30 minutes, before Stevens posted a season-high nine saves in the second half.
1st Quarter (0-0 Score)
- The pace of play was conservative early, with just five total shots attempted in the frame
- A great chance came in the second minute as Kelsy Hopkins fired one of her game-high five shots on-target off a penalty corner that was turned aside by Lehigh goalkeeper Maddia Kahn
2nd Quarter (1-0 SHU)
- Power was brilliant in the early going, posting three of her six saves in a six-second span before Bridget Kelly made one of her two defensive saves in the contest less than 30 seconds later
- McAninley broke the deadlock as she received a pass from Crawford, carried in and fired a shot that beat Kahn to the opposite corner of the cage to make it 1-0 SHU with 4:49 left in the half
- More pressure came from SHU in the waning seconds of the quarter as Hopkins and Emily Alexis both put shots on-net in a penalty corner sequence with little time remaining in the period
3rd Quarter (3-2 SHU)
- The Pioneers went two goals ahead as Mia Katterman shuffled a pass to her left that found Kruk off a penalty corner. Kruk then found the opposite corner with her shot that made it 2-0 SHU just 3:30 into the second half
- Just 15 seconds later, Lehigh answered with a goal from Abriana Gatto as Sarah Bonthuis hit her with a pass right in front of Stevens' net for the marker
- Needing a response, SHU got one in the form of a Crawford tally as Julia Flood managed to nudge the ball forward to Crawford who did the rest to restore the Pioneers' two-goal advantage
- The explosive third quarter saw a fourth goal as Lenke Havas put one home to cut the gap back down to one
- Stevens was excellent despite allowing two goals as she made seven of her nine stops in the third quarter alone while Kelly also added her second defensive save of the game as SHU withstood Lehigh's most-productive offensive pressure of the game
4th Quarter (3-2 SHU)
- The Pioneers put forth a dominating defensive showing to seal the victory, limiting Lehigh to just two shots (both went on-target) in the frame
- Lehigh had one last-gasp penalty corner with just 35 seconds remaining but the Mountain Hawks failed to get a shot off as the Pioneer defense poked the ball away to finish off their third straight win
- SHU tallied 18 shots, compared to 28 for the Mountain Hawks, which is tied for the second-most in a game for the Pioneers on the season
- The Pioneer goalkeeping tandem of Power and Stevens combined for 15 saves while Kelly's two defensive saves gave SHU 17 stops for the game
- McAninley's goal was her team-leading fifth of the season
- Crawford posted one goal and one assist to give her a career-high three points while the goal was her fourth of the season, matching her single-season career-high total
- Flood's assist is the first point of her career
- Power picked up her third win of the season while she finished with no goals allowed for the second time in 2019
- In her first action since Sept. 27 (four games ago), Stevens was masterful in relief as she notched a season-high nine saves which is two off her career-high 11 saves from last season
A huge conference weekend is next for the Pioneers as SHU heads to LIU on Friday before hosting Wagner on Sunday for Senior Day. This is the team's only weekend of the season wherein the team plays two straight league games.