The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team’s losing streak continues, as the Bobcats were shut out, 1-0, against Northeast Conference foe Long Island University Tuesday at Quinnipiac Soccer Field.
The Bobcats (3-8-1, 2-4 NEC) have been shutout in six of their eight losses, including three consecutive shutout losses against Saint Francis (Pa.), Wagner and now Long Island (8-7, 5-2 NEC).
“Our offense needs to score goals,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “For all the talent in the world and all the ability in the world, it needs to score goals and it’s not. It’s creating chances and not putting away the ball.”
After a scoreless first half that featured the Blackbirds outshooting the Bobcats 9-5, LIU finally struck midway through the second half. Long Island forward Ruby Leon scored the only goal of the game that proved to be the game-winner in the 73rd minute.
Bobcat goalkeeper Jill Kelley had come out to the edge of the box, mishandled the ball as she tried to pick it up, and had the ball stolen by Leon. Leon had a breakaway dribbling towards the wide-open net before blasting her second goal of the season.
“She has to play the percentages,” Clarke said of the play. “That ball should have been kicked out of bounds, put out of bounds. We’ll defend the throw in, don’t take risks, she took a risk and it didn’t pay off.”
After taking the lead with 17 minutes remaining in regulation, the Blackbirds defense held Quinnipiac without a shot on goal until the 89th minute when Crystal Burns got a shot off that was blocked. The Bobcats’ offense was led by Burns who compiled three shots in the game. Beck Kiting and senior captain Furtuna Velaj each had two of Quinnipiac’s 11 shots on goal.
With their third consecutive shut-out defeat the Bobcats squandered some opportunities. Ten minutes into the game, Kiting headed the ball just wide of the net off a pass from senior Chelsea Smith. Seven minutes later, Velaj had an opportunity when she fired the ball on goal of a cross in the box but LIU goalkeeper Jennifer Bannon made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
With four minutes left in the first half, defender Aine Mckeever had an opportunity on a free kick near the top of the box but her shot sailed just high of the net.
In the 63rd minute, Kelley took a free kick near midfield. The ball was corralled in the box by Kiting, who turned and fired the ball just wide of the top corner of the net.
“We need to capitalize on other teams’ mistakes and we haven’t,” Clarke said. “We said to keep playing the way we’ve been playing at halftime, just play to our potential and keep working hard for each other, which they did. It was just one mental breakdown, collectively and individually, and we’ve thrown away a game that was there to be won.
“Their keeper made a couple of mistakes but we didn’t punish them. Ours makes one, and it gets punished. She made one on Friday and it got punished.”
Long Island outshot Quinnipiac 15-11 and held the edge on the corner kicks 6-3. Kelley made eight saves while her counterpart Bannon stopped all five shots she faced in net.
The Bobcats travel to New Jersey this weekend as they take on NEC rival Monmouth on Friday at 4 p.m.