By Michael Otero
After piling up win after win, the no. 1-ranked Pioneers were finally dealt a blow, losing their first match of the season to NE-10 rival Adelphi University, 2-1, on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The Pioneers fell behind early, but never got rattled. As time began to become a risky factor, the intensity turned up and the Pioneers broke through late in the second half to tie the game at one. It was sophomore forward/midfielder, Emily Miller who tallied with just over six minutes in regulation.
However, missed opportunities would come back to haunt the Pioneers, who did not execute on multiple scoring chances. After Miller’s heroics, she had two scoring chances denied; one off the post and the other by junior Adelphi keeper, Amanda Gargiulo. Overtime became necessary to decide a winner.
In the extra session, the Pioneers were awarded a penalty stroke, but freshman midfielder, Arantxa Rosainz Caloca’s shot was blocked. The stop by Gargiulo set the stage for the Adelphi victory less than two minutes later, when senior forward, Lena Pollich, wound up and fired a shot past senior goalie, Ericka Parks.
The 2-1 overtime loss was the first of the season for the Pioneers who, as a team, have still yet to allow more than two goals in a game.
Head Coach Raenee Savin and the team looked to get back on track on Friday, Oct. 7, against Southern New Hampshire University in front of the pioneers faithful. Similarly to their Wednesday match, the Pioneers suffered a 2-1 defeat.
The game seemed destined to go into overtime, tied at one, before Penmen back, Alison Hildreth, scored a game-winning goal in the 70th minute. The literal last-second goal knocked the Pioneers off and sent Southern New Hampshire home happy.
The hosts seemingly dominated every facet of the game, out-shooting the Penmen 24-6 and controlling possession of the ball. However, the Penmen made their shots count and got great play in the net. The lone LIU goal came courtesy of Miller, who scored her team-leading 10th goal of the year.
After starting the season 8-0 and climbing to the no. 1 ranking in the nation, the Pioneers have dropped two straight, including one at home.
Next match is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15, at Saint Michael’s College. Kick-off at 11 a.m.