Oct. 24, 2003
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Bryna Bailey and Marie Aiello scored second half goals 12 minutes apart to pace Sacred Heart's 2-1 NEC win over Siena in Loudonville Friday afternoon. Jessica Peluso started the scoring with a first half tally for the Saints, but the Pioneers dominated the action in the second half to earn the key conference victory and position themselves for a Tournament bid.
Peluso found the back of the cage off a cross from senior Erin Mead 27 minutes into the game. Mead took a centering pass from the left wing and directed the ball in front of the goal, where Peluso beat an out-stretched Robyn Breer for the score. Breer bounced back nicely from the initial score, stopping the remaining five shots Siena put on goal.
The Saints held a slim statistical advantage in the first half, out-shooting the Pioneers 6-4. Sacred Heart came out firing in the second, however, peppering cageminder Kristen Heyde with 10 shots after the intermission. Heyde had eight saves in a losing effort for the Saints, sacrificing just the two second half goals.
Bailey notched the equalizer just over nine minutes into the second half rebounding a Julie Messenger shot. Aiello deflected another Messenger shot into the cage in the 58th minute to account for the final score. Messenger had taken a feed from Meghan Tucker and directed the ball toward Heyde when Aiello reached across to guide it around the Siena goalie.
The Saints managed just one second half shot, and Sacred Heart owned a commanding 15-5 edge in penalty corners on the day. The two teams will likely be in Lawrenceville, N.J. next weekend as the NEC's top four teams vie for the conference crown. Siena locked up its bid earlier last week.
Prior to the game, seniors Michelle Dorscheid, Erin Mead, Angie Mead, Lacee Iselo, Ashley Smaldon and Amanda Fronhofer were each honored in a senior ceremony commemorating their final appearance on Siena field. The sextet has helped guide Siena's recent field hockey renaissance, and each is a key component in the team's initial postseason appearance which will take place next Friday.