Quinnipiac field hockey tops Saint Joseph’s

Bryan Lipiner

After a slow start to its season, the Quinnipiac field hockey team is finally beginning to turn some heads.

Playing to a 2-4 record prior to this weekend’s set, the Bobcats shut out Vermont 4-0 yesterday before downing Saint Joseph’s this afternoon at the QU Field Hockey Turf Complex, 5-0 the final.

For a squad that recorded just eight total goals in its previous four games, it was a much-needed pair of back-to-back wins.

“Whatever we did right these last two days, we got to mimic this when we hopefully get to the MAAC Championships,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main said. “We’re sitting 4-4. Now you’re sitting in a place where its now to work up instead of working back.”

Quinnipiac forward Kristin Engelke tallied two goals against Saint Joseph’s, while Jennalise Taylor hit the back of the net in both of the weekend contests.

Goalkeeper Megan Conaboy recorded eight total saves on Saturday and Sunday between the posts, including turning away a penalty stroke against Saint Joseph’s.

“So happy for her, two shutouts in two days,” Main said. “If I got to vote for MAAC Defensive Player of the Week, I would, but I’m not allowed. I’m really pleased with her progress and her leadership in just her first year.”

Conaboy praised her defense’s effort on the afternoon, holding the Hawks to 11 shots.

“Obviously there was a lot of pressure coming in,” Conaboy said. “I knew that my defense would help me out. They stepped it up today. I was happy to see that everybody could contribute to the win.”

Quinnipiac struck first at 6:33 in the initial frame, when Taylor notched her third goal of the season from the top of the circle.

The Bobcats then surged late in the first half, hitting the back of the cage four times in the final 13 minutes of play. Engelke ripped her fifth goal of the year at 22:03, while Amanda Danziger scored off a corner at 24:55. Engelke and Haley Swartz registered the final goals of the half, both coming off a loose ball.

“We’ve been practicing being aggressive in the circle,” Engelke said. “I wanted to get the ball in however I could.”

Sunday’s four first-half goals marked the first time Quinnipiac has scored four times in one half since Oct. 21, 2011, at Siena, a 6-1 victory.

“We need to keep playing,” Conaboy said. “Everybody’s working hard day after day.”

Quinnipiac will host Holy Cross on Sept. 26, but not before savoring its back-to-back victories.

“We’re gonna enjoy it,” Main said on the successful weekend. “Sometimes you forget to reflect and take time to enjoy it. By all means, they deserve to enjoy this.”