Bobcats batter Siena, clinch tourney berth
Quinnipiac’s field hockey team played in a win-or-go-home game against Siena in the final regular season game of the year and the Bobcats will not be going home.
With the strength of the seniors in their last home game, they beat the Saints, scoring a season-high five goals in a 5-1 victory.
Amanda DeLouise, MacKenzie Liptak, Katie Van Nostrand and Tina Watkins were all honored prior to the game with a senior day ceremony at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field.
The victory continued the season for the Bobcats as they clinched the fourth and final spot in the NEC Tournament.
Liptak gave the Bobcats (8-9, 4-3 NEC) an early lead with her fourth goal of the season 6:20 into the game when the Saints (2-16, 0-7 NEC) couldn’t clear the ball from their zone. Liptak stole it from the defender, took three steps and ripped the shot from the top of the circle past the Saints’ keeper.
“I had a lot of motivation today because it was my last home game and possibly the last time I ever played, we had to give it everything we had,” Liptak said.
The next Quinnipiac goal came at 17:44 when Kaitlyn Notarianni brought the ball all the way down the left side herself. She then deked to her left past the goalie and backhanded the ball into the net.
The Bobcats went into the break with a two-goal lead and outshot the Saints 8-2. They also had four corners to Siena’s three.
Three minutes into the second half, the offensive onslaught continued. Kristin Engelke assisted Notarianni as she put the ball through the goalie’s legs for her second goal of the game and seventh of the season.
Midway through the second half, DeLouise made a beautiful diving stick-save when the Bobcats defense couldn’t clear the ball from their own zone. DeLouise saved two out of the three shots put on net by the Saints.
With 19 minutes left in the game, Kimberly Cunniff notched her seventh goal of the season and Quinnipiac’s fourth goal with her shot inside the top of the circle.
Quinnipiac tallied its final goal of the day when Amanda Garzin took a shot that was blocked but still made its way into the back of the net.
The Bobcats’ defense did have one blemish when Siena midfielder Lindsay Mayo took a penalty corner that was put past DeLouise by Sarah Szewczyk to make the game 5-1.
“You always love a game where you can play your entire team. That shows the reason we’re going to the NEC Championships isn’t because of 11 starters but instead 23 players,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Kohli said.
Quinnipiac will now play top-seeded Rider University on Friday in the NEC semifinal. “It doesn’t matter to us if we play Rider or Monmouth,” Kohli said. However, Quinnipiac will not have to play on field turf opposed to their home AstroTurf. “We’ve won four out of five on field turf so I think for us that is a good thing.”
The NEC Tournament game against Rider is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. at Lawrence, N.J.
Photo credit: Charlotte Greene