The Quinnipiac University Braves women’s soccer team has been in the NCAA Division one for less than five years, but has more then stepped up to the challenge. Last year, they finished with a record of 13-7-1. This put them in the playoffs.
David Clark coaches the women’s team. Coach Clark has the team practice nearly everyday for two hours a day. The practice consists of ball work, passing, and small-sided games. The team tries as hard as possible to practice at a game tempo.
The team played Friday afternoon at home against Robert Moses College. The Braves scored 4 goals in the first quarter without letting up a single one. Two of these goals were scored by the same person, Alison Jaquith who looks to be one of the leading scorers this year. She also had two assists in the game as well and leads the team with five overall goals compared with seven overall last year.
With the personal goals and assists added up, she has 13 points in just her last five games. “If we work hard we’ll go really far,” said Jaquith. She came to the school just after the sport went into NCAA Division one.
“It’s a whole different level of competition and it is a whole different level of closeness between the girls,” said Jaquith. Regarding the way she has done late in her own personal records that she has been breaking, she said simply, “I honestly have no idea. I don’t go out to break records. I just go out to play the game.”
Robert Moses College came back on Friday with one goal in the second quarter. It was not enough however, as the Braves defense, behind goalie Jenna Lawless, took the game 4-1. Lawless, the returning goalie had 25 saves going into Friday’s game for a record of .735%.
In Sunday’s game with St. Francis, who is in their conference, after a scoreless first half, the Braves came up with a penalty shot goal by captain, Kristin Rathbone. Then, they came up with a goal less then five minutes later by leading scorer of last year, Elisa Goncalves. It was her fourth goal of this season. They pulled out a 2-0 shutout behind Lawlesare a lot more subtle.
“Within discussing this is to do well against Boston University and also against Rutgers despite an unfortunate loss. Coach Clark said, “We learned a lot in that game. It was a very good game.” The team looks forward to playing Central CT and Sacred Heart of CT because they are both unbeaten in the conference and there is an intense Connecticut rivalry. When asked weather or not they will make a repeated trip to the playoffs, Clark said, “Yes, we have to win, but the expectation is that we should. We will be disappointed if we don’t.”
However, when asked if he feels that they will do better then last years performance. “It’ll be close. Last year will be hard to surpass.”