Barcless Nets First Career Goal in Mustangs Win Over Neumann

REISTERSTOWN, Md. - Stevenson women's ice hockey freshman Trinity Barcless netted her first career goal while sophomore Jordan Pirrello scored her first goal of the season as the Mustangs opened the New Year with a 4-1 non-conference victory over Neumann Saturday evening at Reisterstown Sportsplex.

The win was the seventh straight for the Mustangs (4-7-2) in the series and lead 7-5-0 all-time versus Neumann after the Knights won the first five meetings. The 12 meetings rank second in Stevenson history for most games against any one opponent, only behind the 13 games played versus Sacred Heart.

It took just 47 seconds for the hosts to find the back of the net as senior Chelsea Blackburn extended her point streak to seven games after finishing a centering pass by classmate Monica Pozuc. Pozuc carried the puck towards the net and made a move around a defender on the near post before sliding the puck off her backhand to an open Blackburn who was there for the easy score. Blackburn has scored a goal in five of six games versus the Knights (5-5-2) while Pozuc has dished out an assist in back-to-back meetings.

Meanwhile, Pozuc is just one assist shy of becoming just the second player in program history to record 40 in a career.

Stevenson went on the power play just five minutes into the opening period and scored with 14 seconds remaining in the player advantage as Pirrello scored back door after sophomore Carly McGee fired a shot towards net. McGee's shot hit off the back of the boards and bounced to the back post for Pirrello to finish on the open side of the net. Freshman Paige Stapleton recorded the secondary assist. The goal snaps a 17-game scoring drought for Pirrello dating back to last season while McGee has recorded an assist in two of her last three games.

Just 28 seconds later, Barcless made it 3-0 in favor of the hosts as the rookie had a breakaway and eluded a defender and fired the puck low on net past goaltender Helen Cooney. Barcless is the first freshman to record a goal this season. The goal was also the first unassisted goal for the Mustangs in the last 24 scores.

Blackburn started the second frame as she did the first, scoring the period's opening goal after skating past two Neumann defenders before tucking the puck in and around Cooney. The senior has 28 career multi-point games, including 18 multi-goal games. She now has nine points in six games versus the Knights while totaling 53 points in 36 home games.

The Knights avoided the shutout with a second period tally as Jordyn Cholish gathered the puck behind the Mustangs net after a wide shot and wrapped it around, beating junior Caitie Darosa after a pair of shots. Darosa finished with 23 saves in the win.

The Mustangs outshot Neumann, 46-24, marking a season-high in shots. Stevenson also finished 1-for-3 on the power play, marking the fifth consecutive game with a power play goal. The team is 12-for-31 during that stretch after starting the season 1-for-34. Defensively, the Mustangs killed off all three shorthanded scenarios and have killed off 20 of their last 21 opportunities.

Seniors Natalie Rosendahl and Allie Bruns each finished with three blocked shots as the Mustangs finished with 17 as a team. The team also won 28 of the 47 face-offs, with senior Chelsea Ellis going 15-for-21 at the dot. Junior Allie Sabatini won six of her 10 opportunities.

Stevenson returns to action on Thursday, January 11 when the Mustangs travel to UMass Boston for a non-conference contest beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Beacons have won three of the four meetings between the two teams.