The Quinnipiac field hockey team took a loss Wednesday that sums up their season to-date very well: close, but no cigar. Unable to maintain their momentum from solid victories against Fairfield and Maine, the Bobcats dropped a tight, 2-1 game to Hofstra.
Quinnipiac (2-6) and the Hoftra Pride (6-1) were evenly matched throughout the first period. Bobcat goalie Jenna Grossman was the hero of the period, keeping her team in the game with five saves. Both teams entered halftime without any goals and few attempts.
This all changed in the second period. With 30:01 left in the second, Hoftra drew first blood with a goal from sophomore Nancy Wagenbrenner. Hofstra struck again 31 seconds later with a goal by senior Charlia Warner. All of a sudden, the Bobcats found themselves outplayed and down by two. Head coach Becca Kohli knew she had to take action.
“You call a time out after two goals, and you say ‘what are you guys doing, do you want to be here?,'” said Kohli. “So I do think we started to wake up and realize, ‘you’re right, I want to be out here.'”
The Bobcats came out re-energized and, with 9:00 left in the second, junior Katie Van Nostrand put up a goal for her team.
“I’ve been practicing that [the shot] since.preseason,” said Katie. “It felt great.”
Though the Bobcats did not come out with the win, the players and coach felt good about the game. Grossman said the team brought everything together after the second-period timeout.
“We fixed some things towards the second half,” said Grossman. “We could improve on our intensity coming out.”
The team may be 2-6, but Coach Kohli does not consider this to be a rebuilding year. She described it more as a “re-firing” season, where new players will mix with juniors and seniors. Kohli sees a lot of young talent beginning to emerge and support her veterans further down the season.
“I do have a core group that I’m really trying to roll through and get time in,” said Kohli. “I think Katie Van [Nostrand] is really stepping in and being a leader.” Kohli mentioned several other young players whom she anticipates to have a big impact.
Conference games do not begin until Oct. 10 against Monmouth and these are the games that really matter. Nostrand is one of the players looking forward to ECAC play.
“With conference games.every game is emotion,” said Nostrand. The conference games are much more draining for the players and Nostrand said the newer players will be vital to the success of the team.
Even Nostrand though, does not want to look too far into the future. The Bobcats play very much “in-the-moment” and are not focusing on conference play just yet.
“We just look to the next game, so all I know is Holy Cross,” said Nostrand. The sophomore would not talk about any team in the future and said the Bobcats only focus on the closest match.
With so many close games, Kohli said the team is very close to turning the corner-and the timing could not be better.
“I think it’s just about fine-tuning and tweaking things when your that close,” said Kohli. The Bobcats are counting on their young players to inject them with energy and send them charging into conference play.