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Quinnipiac loses to defending champion, 3-0
In its first meeting since Saint Francis ousted Quinnipiac in the conference semifinals in penalty kicks last year, the Bobcats could not take advantage of six corner kicks or 16 shots.
Leading scorer Furtuna Velaj took seven shots for the Bobcats (3-6-1, 2-2 NEC), but was unable to come away with a goal.
Mackenzie Walter scored twice, Tesa McKibben recorded a goal and Aryn Askin had two assists for the Red Flash (7-5-1, 3-0-1).
Walter scored in the 35th minute off a corner kick from Askin when she kicked it into the left side of the net amid a clutter of defenders.
Goalkeeper Jill Kelley recorded three saves, but one of them led to a Red Flash goal. After Askin broke past a defender in the 44th minute, she shot it to Kelley’s right. Kelley dove and made the save, but Walter was in the box and sent the rebound into the net to take a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats controlled much of the pace in the first half while taking five corner kicks, but were not able to put the ball past Red Flash goalkeeper Bri Butcher, who made six saves.
“I wouldn’t say it was all Saint Francis after [Walter’s second goal],” Clarke said. “You gotta understand when you give any team a two-goal lead, they will sit in and defend, and the third goal came so early in the second half and we never got a chance to regroup or really put them under pressure.”
McKibben scored in the 53rd minute after she bumped into Burns and sent Burns to the ground. Kelley was right in front of the action and lifted her hands up, waiting for the referee to call a foul on McKibben. When the referee let play continue, McKibben sent a shot over the head of Kelley and into the net.
After beating Robert Morris, 3-2, on Friday thanks to two goals by Kristina Del Mistro and assists by Chelsea Smith, Crystal Burns and Shauna Edwards, the four players combined for just three shots against the Red Flash defense.
“[For] Shauna, Furtuna and Kristina, those chances you gotta put away,” Clarke said.
Acknowledging the talented Saint Francis squad, Clarke wasn’t about to take credit away from the Red Flash after the game.
“The way the league is set up with only playing teams once is that there are certain teams you can lose to. You can lose to Monmouth (8-4, 4-0); we can lose to Saint Francis,” Clarke said. “We can’t lose to the LIUs and the Mount St. Mary’s and those types of teams.”
The Bobcats are currently tied for fifth in the conference with Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary’s with six points, while Long Island (6-7, 3-2) is in third place with nine points and Sacred Heart (6-4-3, 2-2-1) is in fourth with seven points.
“It’s a good loss and a good loss is to Monmouth and Saint Francis,” Clarke said.
The Bobcats host Long Island Friday at 3 p.m. and Wagner Sunday at noon.