With the time expired on the clock and a 3-2 lead, the Quinnipiac women’s field hockey team wasn’t done yet. American University had been awarded a penalty corner and could extend the game into overtime with a goal.
But to do so, they would have to get the ball past Bobcat keeper Nicole Lewis. American set the play and fired a shot but Lewis made the stop as the fans began to celebrate. Her day in goal however still wasn’t over as the ball went out of bounds off a Quinnipiac stick.
Again the Bobcat defenders lined up in goal and charged as soon as the corner was hit. This time American passed the ball around and fired a shot low. Lewis saw the ball clearly and kicked it out towards midfield to end the game and seal a 3-2 victory.
“I thought Nicole was great,” junior Jess Rusin said. “She always does great and is always a solid player. I feel so confident with her behind me. She makes great saves all over the cage. She’s diving, she’s jumping and definitely kept us in the game.”
Lewis finished the game with five saves, four of which came during the games final 10 minutes.
On Friday, Lewis made six saves but gave up four goals. She has been playing with an injury for the majority of the season and sat thru the final 15 minutes against Maine as sophomore Megan Conaboy got some playing time.
“We have to be careful with her body,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main said. “So we decided to do that against Maine which paid off for us when Megan came in and we scored two goals right after that. But Nicole showed up today.”
Quinnipic (5-4) got on the board first when senior Kristin Engelke scored a goal off a rebound from a penalty corner. It was her third goal of the season and assisted by Cate Colucci.
American (4-6) answered right back in similar fashion with a rebound goal by Shelly Montgomery off of a penalty corner. The goal was Montgomery’s team leading fourth goal of the season and tied the game at 1, 13:31 into the first half.
Later in the half, freshman Danielle Allan stole the ball at midfield and dribbled all the way down the right side. She then sent a low shot to the far corner thru traffic that found its way past American goalkeeper Ashley Dallsera for a 2-1 lead.
The Bobcats would head into the break with a 3-1 lead after Jess Rusin picked up her 19th career goal. Rusin deflected a shot off of the penalty corner and over the head of Dallsera.
Rusin is now one goal away from being the 10th player in program history to score 20 goals in their career.
“Every forwards dream is to just score,” Rusin said. “I think I am so successful because the talent on the team. Every forward is just fighting for spots, we keep pushing each other further and further. We know we have to do well and score to secure our spot and it’ good that there’s competition between our team and it shows on the field. Everyone has to play their game.”
Two of Quinnipiac’s three goals came off the penalty corner today and they almost added a third on a play that was called back due to being too high. Main said that the team started working on penalty corners as soon as last season ended.
“We replaced our entire unit and it’s becoming something that is starting to pay off but its been a solid year of really working on attack penalty corners, finding out who on our team fits well,” Main said. “So very very pleased with our attack penalty corners. Also American is known for their corners so us defensively at the end (to do what we did). Great effort from our specialty units today.”
American was awarded nine penalty corners in the game to six for Quinnipiac. However seven of American’s nine corners came in the second half and resulted in just one goal after the second half began with over 25 minutes of scoreless play.