By Michael Otero
The field hockey team opened up its 2015 season at home against Bentley University on Saturday, Sept. 12, and gutted out a thrilling 3-2 victory on overtime.
After a quick goal by Bentley at the 3:26 mark, the Pioneers found themselves behind in the game — a position they were rarely in during the last two seasons. The Pioneers got their first tally of the match in the 34th minute via sophomore defender Grace Ilias. Just about five minutes later, the Pioneers struck again. This time it was senior forward Keliann Margiotta, who found the back of the cage off of a pass from sophomore forward Kaycee Zelkovsky.
The Pioneers played a stellar first half, outshooting their opponents 10-1, and they carried a 2-1 lead into halftime. Their stellar play continued into the second half, but they were unable to stop freshman midfielder Rachel Crowley, who tied the match at two in the 63rd minute. The stalemate continued throughout the rest of the second half, and eventually an extra period was needed to decide a winner.
The Pioneer defense stood tall in the overtime and allowed only one single shot. In fact, they held Bentley to three shots for the entire game. Because of that defense, the Pioneers got plenty of scoring chances and capitalized on one of them. Off a blocked shot in front of the Bentley goal, Ilias scored her second goal of the day, giving the Pioneers the thrilling overtime victory.
The Pioneers returned to the field on Sun- day, Sept. 13, to battle with Saint Thomas Aquinas College. The Pioneers were led by sophomore midfielder Alyssa Lopresti, who notched her first collegiate hat trick in a 6-0 victory for the Green and Gold.
Perhaps inspired by Lopresti’s first goals as a Pioneer, freshman forward Emily Miller tallied her first goal of her LIU Post career in the 11th minute, making it a 3-0 game. The Pioneers carried that lead into the break and didn’t waste any time increasing it. Less than two minutes into the second half, Lopresti netted the final of three goals for the afternoon on a put-back attempt in front of the opposi- tion cage.
Later in the match, freshman forwards Amanda Flynn and Molly Cunha joined Miller in notching their first goals at the collegiate level, rounding out the scoring for the afternoon, giving the Pioneers a 6-0 win. Defensively, the Pioneers had another fantastic game, allowing a measly two shots and letting none of them hit the net.
Head Coach Raenee Savin and the Pioneers play their next home game on Saturday, Sept. 19, when they take on Merrimack College. The game is scheduled for noon.