Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main focused on preventing the Maine Black Bears from scoring from the midfield. While the Bobcats were able to keep that plan intact, they struggled on the penalty.
The Bobcats allowed five goals, all on penalty corners, in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Maine.
“We then allowed five goals on penalty situations,” Main said. “That’s where you … take the good and the bad, work on the bad and enhance the good.”
The Bobcats (1-3) were able to generate six penalty corners in the first half, but only capitalize on one. Maine (2-3) outshot Quinnipiac 23-10 and scored twice in the last three minutes to pull away.
The Bobcats were limited to one shot in the first 20 minutes of the second half, and Main credited the Black Bears’ ability to deflect passes to control the tempo.
“We had a really hard time. We were taking balls right into them, they’re very good and agile,” Main said. “I was expecting this kind of a Maine team, I just think I expected us to take more opportunities on the attack side of the ball, and we didn’t.”
Quinnipiac goaltender Megan Conoboy made 11 saves and Kristin Engelke and Jess Rusin both scored a goal for the Bobcats, who play at Lafayette on Friday.
Main was impressed with how the team has been able to play early in the season.
“The growth I’ve seen in one week in this squad, the level that we’ve gotten to in Syracuse, La Salle, BC and this game, that better be the catapult to games vs. Lafayette, UMass Lowell, Vermont and Saint Joe’s,” Main said.
The Bobcats trailed 3-1 at halftime and were unable to generate much offense early in the second half. Maine held Quinnipiac to one shot through the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“We’re really used to creating our speed and getting behind the defenders, creating lanes that way,” Engelke said. “A lot of times, they were stepping in front of us to the ball, which usually we want to be there in front of them, so we want to take that, improve on that and make sure we’re the first ones to every ball so we can control the tempo more.”
Rusin was able to cut the deficit to one with 5:01 off a penalty corner, but the Bobcats were unable to generate any further opportunities afterward, though, as Annabelle Hamilton took a shot that deflected off Conoboy’s pads and into the cage off a penalty corner with 2:53 left, and scored again in the final seconds to pad the lead.
Nicole Sevey had a hat trick, while Natasha Ford recorded four saves for Maine.
After a penalty corner, Sevey took a rebound from a shot and sent it past Conoboy for a 1-0 lead 5:46 into the game. She scored twice more in the first half, both off corners.
Quinnipiac had six penalty corners in the first half, but were only able to score when Engelke hit a shot right in front of the cage in the 14th minute.
“When we draw that many corners, yeah we’re putting a couple in, but I don’t think that’s enough,” Main said. “I think we have to up our numbers to at least 30 or 40 percent of our shots to go in. Maine did a very nice job, and quite frankly I think we could have been in a much tighter game.”