Women’s LAX snags historic win

Mike Esposito

The Bobcats clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth with their seventh straight win on Senior Day, beating Wagner (4-11, 3-4 NEC) 18-13 last Friday. With the win, Quinnipiac (11-2, 6-1) reached 11 wins on the season for the first time in program history. Ashley Valentine had a memorable day. In her final game, she contributed with a career-high six goals and seven points in the contest – the first of which was her 100th of her career.

Quinnipiac controlled the ball from opening face-off, opening up to a 7-1 lead in the first 12 minutes of the contest – three of which were credited to Valentine. The Bobcats continued to move the ball well and capitalize on Wagner’s mistakes, until Wagner turned the tables on the Bobcats. Wagner proceeded to go on a six-goal run in the final 10 minutes of the half, while the Bobcats mixed in two goals to bring the score to 9-7 at the half.

The Bobcats got on the board first in the second half with goals from Valentine and Tiffany Manzi, putting them up 11-7. Wagner responded with a goal from Melanie Garces on a free position shot, cutting the lead to 11-8. Quinnipiac bounced back with seven unanswered goals. Four goals came from Valentine and Nicole Fiore, while Manzi added her fourth, Meghan Latonick’s first goal and Devon Gibney’s first to give the Bobcats an 18-8 lead.

Wagner responded with five consecutive goals of their own in the final 12 minutes on the contest. However, it was too little too late for the Seahawks, who lost their 11th game of the season.

Seniors Manzi and Fiore each had season-highs in the contest. Fiore recorded six points, three goals and three assists, while Manzi recorded five points, four goals and one assist in their final game of each of their careers.

After the game, Manzi looked ahead to the upcoming challenges the Bobcats will face.

“This win helps our momentum a lot,” she said. “Sunday’s game against Monmouth is a huge game for us. We have to win to help keep this momentum going into the playoffs.”

The Bobcats will take on NEC-rival Monmouth in their final regular season game on Sunday at 1 p.m. in West Long Branch, N.J. The result of Sunday’s game will determine whom and where the Bobcats will play on Friday, April 24 in the NEC semifinals.