The Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s soccer team had a disappointing home opener Sunday afternoon, losing 2-0 to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Quinnipiac falls to 1-2 on the season with the defeat, and the talented team hopes to bounce back as the season progresses.
The Bobcats were outshot 21-11 by Lehigh, and of the 11 attempted shots, only five were saved by the goalie. Much like the team’s performance, most of the team’s shot attempts were not on point. Ball movement was also a problem, as Furtuna Velaj, arguably the team’s best player, took more than half of the shot attempts.
Head coach Dave Clarke was “disappointed” with his team after the loss, describing their effort as “very poor,” and questioned the team’s “commitment and desire.” Clarke was not happy, in particular, with the Bobcats’ play in the first half, when the team allowed two goals within five minutes of each other. That lapse wound up costing Quinnipiac the game.
“We offered absolutely nothing in the first half, and that’s exactly where we got,” Clarke said. “We were in such a hole, and you can’t give up anything in a two-goal lead, and expect to come back and win 3-2.”
Lehigh’s first goal came at 31:55 in the first half by senior Natalie Hojnacki. After receiving a pass from junior Glynn Fitzer, Hojnacki shot a picture-perfect ball right over Margulies’ head.
The Mountain Hawks’ second goal came at 35:29 off of a corner kick ricochet. Sophomore Jana Basubas grabbed the rebound off of the blocked corner kick inside the goal box and lofted the ball over a diving Margulies for the 2-0 lead. The second goal effectively crippled the Bobcats in the first half.
“There are very few positives other than the reaction in the second half to take away from the game,” Clarke said. “It’s one thing to have talent, but it’s another to have application. Right now we don’t have that application.”
When simply comparing statistics between teams, it is clear why the Mountain Hawks were victorious. The Bobcats only had two players with multiple shot attempts, while the Hawks had seven players who attempted multiple shots on goal.
“Teams can take shots from 35-40 yards, if it goes in it’s a great goal,” Clarke said. “But nine times out of 10, they’re not going to make it.”
However, one positive from all of the shot attempts by Lehigh was that with 13 saves, junior goalkeeper Kendra Margulies set a new career high.
The Bobcats will attempt to bounce back on the road Friday, Sept. 18, in a non-conference game at Siena.