Pioneers Roll in NEC Opener, 22-8 Over LIU Brooklyn

Junior Attacker Aurelie Pluijmakers
Junior Attacker Aurelie Pluijmakers

BROOKLYN, NY (March 23, 2012) - Sacred Heart senior Aurelie Pluijmakers (Freehold, NJ) led an offensive explosion with eight goals to lead the Pioneers to a 22-8 win at LIU Brooklyn Friday afternoon in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams.  The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the Pioneers as they improve to 2-5 on the year.  LIU remains winless at 0-8.

The Pioneers (2-5, 1-0 NEC) scored a season-high 22 goals on 36 shots in the league opener, out shooting the Blackbirds 36-25.  Pluijmakers scored eight times on nine shots and added a pair of assists to her totals for a 10 point afternoon.  The senior attacker raised her team-leading goal total to 22 on the year.

Seniors Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY) and Alyssa Dorsey (Massapequa, NY) and junior Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) all scored three goals apiece in the win.  Kmiotek added four assists to her totals while Pepe dished out three helpers. 

Dorsey start the Pioneer scoring 55 seconds in as SHU ran out to a 6-0 lead by the 18:23 mark.  Sophomore Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) along with Dorsey scored a pair on the opening run while Pluijmakers and Pepe each scored their firsts of the afternoon.  LIU's Gina Eberwein ended the Blackbird drought at 12:38 but SHU answered with three more to lead 9-1 with 9:33 to play in the first half.

LIU Brooklyn pulled within 10-4 with 2:38 to go but SHU's Kaitlin Rochler (Wading River, NY) scored 34 seconds later and Kmiotek scored her second with 56 seconds on the clock to send the Pioneers into the locker room up 12-4.

The Blackbirds Shakoya Smith, Caitlin Farrell and Brittany Rader scored in the opening eight minutes of the second half and cut the Pioneers lead to 14-7.  From there it was all Sacred Heart as the Pioneers closed out the final 20 minutes on an 8-1 run.

Pluijmakers scored four of her career-high eight goals on the close out run, including three-straight.

Freshman goalie Kelly Keenan (Wantagh, NY) turned in 11 saves to earn the win.  Russo collected six draw controls and four grounders.

The Pioneers are back on the road on Sunday with a stop at Wagner College.  Game time is scheduled for 1:00 pm