Trailing by a tally five minutes in, the Pioneers (10-0) took a 7-1 lead over Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday, March 29, in an East Coast Conference match in Rochester, N.Y. Senior midfielder Katie Rotan led the charge, scoring three goals within the eight minute burst.
Senior attacker Jackie Sileorecorded another eight-point showing, scoring two goals and six assists. Sileo’s performance put her only four points shy of breaking the NCAA’s all-time scoring record. Junior midfielder Jenna Pierro also played a very strong game, netting three goals along with three helpers. The Pio- neers worked together as a cohesive unit, as senior attacker Morgan Chiarenza and freshman attacker Stefani Vagelatos were both forces, finishing with five points apiece. Junior defender Kali Maxwell and freshman midfielder Connor Bird set the tone of the game by winning 10 draw controls combined. Senior attacker Samantha Losco also chipped in with a hat trick and three draw controls.
The Redhawks (4-7) refused to go away, as Cassley Jackowski closed the gap to 8-4 with 1:36 remaining in the half. However, the Green and Gold’s Vagelatos and Losco found the back of the pen in a 26 second span, giving the Pioneers a 10-4 lead heading into the intermission.
The Pioneers never looked back as they pulled away in the second half, scoring eight of the first nine tallies, leading them to a 19-6 victory. The Green and Gold dominated in shots (37-14) and draws (21-6). Post also held a slim edge in ground balls (19-17) and was a perfect 12-12 on clears. The Pioneers were also efficient on free-position shots, going three-for-four. In the cage, senior goalie Katie Hannan recorded six saves. Her counterparts Victoria Link and Paige Higgins, combined for 11 stops.
After the game, Morgan Chiarenza mentioned that the team needed to stay positive and not look into the past. She thinks the Pioneers need to continue to grow in every aspect by building on their strengths and weaknesses, which could eventually lead the team to the national championship game. Chiarenza’s hard work has paid off, as she and her teammates are getting to where they want to be as the season comes to a close. “Choice not chance,” Chiarenza said.
The top-ranked Pioneers returned to action Wednesday, April 2, where they edged out their archrival, Dowling, 14-9 at Golden Lions Field in Brookhaven, N.Y. The Green and Gold received a huge lift from Sileo, who amassed eight points and became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer across all divisions. Sileo had a total of four goals and four assists, boosting her career total to 505 career points, which surpassed former record-holder Ashley Hansberry, who accumulated 500 points at Divi- sion III Curry College from 2008-2011.
Although Sileo had a career day, the Pioneers (11-0) trailed 4-3 early on. However, they scored three unanswered goals to take 6-4 lead at the intermission. In the latter stanza, the Pioneers started out by going on a 6-1 run, led by senior attacker Losco and freshman attacker Vagelatos, who scored two goals apiece during that juncture. The Pioneers would go on to secure their 34th consecutive victory.
Senior midfielder Rotan collected two points (1G, 1A), six ground balls, three draw controls, and caused three turnovers. The Pioneers put up a wall defensively, as junior defender Kali Maxwell caused seven turnovers, picked up six grounds balls, and four draw controls. In addition, senior de- fender Melissa Rohr and junior defender Emily Hanifan each scooped up four ground balls. Hannan made seven saves while her opposition, Tina Fey, had 11 saves in the pen.
The Pioneers outshot the Golden Lions, 31-19, and held the advantage in ground balls, 24-17. Dowling won the draw control, 14-11.