It was a tale of two games for the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team Sunday afternoon.
The Bobcats led 2-0 entering the final 12 minutes of their home opener, but a collapse capped by a Mo Hawkins goal with 4.3 seconds remaining downed Quinnipiac, falling 3-2 to Saint Joseph’s at the QU Soccer Field.
“We have to defend better in the last ten or fifteen minutes,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “The three goals today were unacceptable. All three goals we had possession and gave it away.”
“It was a tough game,” Taylor Healey said. “We were either too confident coming into the second half or just got tired. It’s a pretty rough loss.”
The game started off in the Bobcats’ favor. Aine McKeever netted the first goal of the afternoon, and of the season, for Quinnipiac. With 42:27 left in the first half, the senior found the back of the net with a corner kick to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.
The Bobcats got another big chance eight minutes later. Sophomore Amanda Borroca broke free of her defender on the near side of the pitch, later crossing it to freshman Jessica Fontaine alone in front of the net. Yet, the pass was out of Fontaine’s reach, the lead remaining at one.
With 26:17 left in the first half, McKeever struck again, finding the back of the net on a free kick to stretch the lead to 2-0.
“Aine is a smart player, she can play a number of positions,” Clarke said. “Pace is not her strength, but when we get the ball into her you saw today what she can do near the net.”
For the balance of the match, the Bobcats largely controlled the pace of play, keeping pressure on the Hawks’ forwards.
“For 80 minutes the intensity and discipline was good,” Clarke said. “The fact that we scored two decent goals, and were composed and disciplined at times (was good).”
With a penalty taken in the Quinnipiac box, however, the pace of play began to change.
Saint Joseph’s freshman Emily Gingrich capitalized on the Quinnipiac penalty by netting the first goal of the game for the Hawks, cutting the Bobcats lead to one.
Gingrich took advantage of a Bobcats mistake again 33 seconds later as she tallied her second of the game, tying the contest at 2.
After play began to even out for Quinnipiac, it seemed almost certain that the game would have been extended to extra time. That changed when Saint Joseph’s senior Mo Hawkins sent one past sophomore goaltender Natalia Grodzki from 18 yards out to give the Hawks the go-ahead goal, and the 3-2 win.
“Natalia is a good goalkeeper, she’s just got to learn to talk more,” Clarke said A couple of the goals last week were a case of her needing to communicate, and yell at the seniors in front of her.
The Bobcats will face Brown on Sept. 6. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.