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Quinnipiac field hockey clinches No. 3 seed
Led by the senior class and a career-game from a freshman, Quinnipiac is headed back to the Northeast Conference tournament.
Seniors Kim Cunniff and Megan McCreedy each scored a goal while freshman Danielle Allan recorded her first-career hat trick to clinch the No. 3 seed for the Bobcats, as Quinnipiac defeated Sacred Heart, 5-2, Friday at Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Complex.
“For us this was key in terms of controlling our plan and what we want to do, so I am really, really pleased with the play,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main Kohli said.
The Bobcats (11-7, 5-2 NEC) will play second-seeded Monmouth (13-5, 5-1) next Friday in the conference semifinals. Top-seeded Rider (15-1, 6-0) will play Saint Francis (Pa.) (5-12, 3-2) in the other matchup.
“I’m not gonna lie, I don’t want to play Rider first, I want to play Monmouth first,” Kohli said.
McCreedy recorded an assist to add on to her overall program-record, which now stands at 26, and her single-season record of 14. Cunniff scored 12:02 into the game to put her one goal shy of tying Quinnipiac’s single-season record for goals.
“[It was] a huge offensive output from our seniors, and they put most of our goals in, unless you count Danielle Allan,” Kohli said.
Allan scored three goals and had a season-high six points for Quinnipiac, which ended the season in a three-game win streak.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s an accomplishment,” Allan said. “Honestly I’m just glad we won it because it takes us to the NECs as the third seed and we did it for the seniors winning the last game at home field and they get a win for it.”
Allan scored 3:11 into the game after her shot deflected off a Pioneer defender and trickled into the net. She put the ball away herself in the 42nd minute off a pass from Lauren Zimniski. Allan took a pass from McCreedy and sent it past Pioneer goalkeeper Kim Stow with 2:15 to go in the game to seal the hat trick.
Allan wasn’t about to take all the credit.
“I think that it comes from my teammates,” she said. “They set me up with great passes, great opportunities, and as a forward it’s my job to finish. It starts on defense up to the mid end, and it just happens to be my stick putting it in.”
Cunniff moved past Catie Canetti for second in Quinnipiac’s single-season record for goals when she took a pass from Amanda Danziger off a corner, dribbled through traffic and shot the ball past Stow.
McCreedy scored her seventh career goal just four minutes into the second half when her shot from the far left snuck past Stow and into the cage to make it a 3-1 game.
“Mostly when I get down into the 25, it’s just to really aim for the circle, aim for the cage, and hopefully if I don’t put it into the cage somebody else will get the rebound and put it in for me,” McCreedy said.
Nicole Lewis stopped eight Pioneer shots, while Stow had 10.
Sarah Bergman and Lindsay Kasten both scored for Sacred Heart.
Since Rider will be hosting the tournament, Kohli said the team will practice at Cheshire Academy to prepare for the different field conditions.
“We’re going to do a lot of things differently than we’ve done in the past couple of years in terms of how we prepare,” Kohli said.
The Bobcats lost to Monmouth 3-2 on Oct. 14, and the team is looking for a different result.
“It’s going to be a great game,” Allan said. “They were a great team. We know we’re going to have to come out and play our A-game. We played a great game as well, so we just have to play our game and this time come out on top.”