By Michael Otero
Field hockey wrapped up its 2016 regular season with a 3-0 victory over Franklin Pierce University in an NE-10 conference battle at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium. Backed by three second half goals, the no. 6-ranked team earned its 13th victory, the fifth in a row. In those five wins, the Pioneers have scored three goals four times and only surrendered a goal in two.
After a scoreless first half, the Pioneers re-grouped and strung three goals together, the first of which came from sophomore forward, Emily Miller, in the first two minutes of the second half. Less than three minutes later, senior midfielder, Steph Mocerino, found the back of the cage and doubled the Green and Gold advantage.
The last Pioneer tally of the day came from junior midfielder, Alyssa Lopresti, who went top-corner against the goalkeeper. In the net, seniors Ericka Parks and Savanah Cummings, combined to keep a clean sheet.
The home side set the tone early with its aggression, and won battle in the shot attempts category handily, 23-6. The Pioneers’ aggression also led to four times as many shots on goal.
After losing three straight one-goal games, two of which went into overtime, the Pioneers have rebounded, winning every game since. “We started off the season extremely strong and hit a few road-bumps along the way on our quest for a championship,” said Head Coach Raenee Savin. “Those losses were definitely tough to swallow, but it helped the team realize that no team can be taken for granted. The team that goes out and plays a full 70-minute game is the one who will be celebrating when the final whistle blows.”
The team’s season will continue, but the regular season has concluded. The Pioneers went 13-3 and outscored its opponents, 41-16. How do they continue to play at a high level? “We take each half and each game at a time; winning each of our small victories will hopefully bring us to the biggest one of them all,” Savin said.