The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team defeated the Manhattan by a score of 1-0 at QU Soccer Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Bobcats persevered chilly temperatures and physical play to win their first game in the month of October, raising their record to 3-3-3 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 3-7-4 overall.
The Bobcats were able to dictate the pace of play from the get go, dominating the offensive side in the first half. Quinnipiac was finally able to break through in the 22nd minute, when a free kick into the box caused a scramble for the loose ball. Freshman Jessica Fontaine was able to find the back of the net amidst the scrum. It was the forward’s third goal on the season.
“Shannon (Larkin) did a really good job getting on the goalkeeper and then I was just lucky to be there. She did all the hard work,” Fontaine said.
Quinnipiac also benefitted from some stellar play at the back. While the Jaspers kept pushing the issue as the second half wore on, the Bobcats defense held strong. Sophomore goalkeeper Natalia Grodzki wasn’t plagued by too many shots for most of the game, but earned her clean sheet by making two key saves in the final minutes.
“I think the defense did a really good job of stepping up and not letting them shoot,” Grodzki said after the match. “I really didn’t have much to do today.”
The game was marked by physicality, with both sides combining for 23 fouls. Jaspers head coach Brendan Lawler picked up a yellow card in the second half after arguing with a referee, much to the satisfaction of the home crowd.
Still there is some cause for concern for the Bobcats. In a game where they took 13 shots, including nine in the first half alone, they couldn’t seem to find that all-important insurance goal. Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke was pleased with the win, but still knows that the Bobcats wasted too many good opportunities to pull away.
“We made hard work of it. As you can see we’re a bit low on confidence with that second goal not coming,” Clarke said. “You’re always going to be susceptible to the emotion in the last couple of minutes, and we didn’t deal well with it. At least we can look on tape and say ‘Hey, we didn’t do well but we still won.”
The win moves Quinnipiac to sixth place in the MAAC with just one regular season game left to play. The Bobcats will face Monmouth at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Hamden. This will be the final tune-up for Quinnipiac before the squad heads south for the MAAC Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. With a win or draw on Saturday, the Bobcats could potentially earn a first-round bye in the tournament.
“That was the goal all year,” Clarke said. “It’ll be tough, if we’re not in the top five we’ve only got ourselves to blame.”