MAAC expectations high for fall sports

Nick Palma

Two Quinnipiac athletic teams won a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in the fall of 2013, and their chances of competing for another title are high yet again.

The Quinnipiac field hockey team has been selected to finish first in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, after winning the conference championship against Robert Morris last season. The Bobcats finished with a 14-7 overall record and 5-1 conference mark in 2013. They topped the MAAC in goals scored, goals scored per game, assists, assists per game, scoring average and defensive saves.

Forward Danielle Allan, defender Megan Osanitsch and goalkeeper Megan Conaboy were all named to the preseason All-MAAC Preseason team, as the Becca Main-led squad has its eyes on hoisting the tournament trophy once again.

The other MAAC champions at Quinnipiac, the men’s soccer team, has been picked to finish second in the preseason coaches’ poll, behind Monmouth University. The Bobcats earned 101 points in this year’s coaches’ vote after going 9-5-7 in 2013, 7-1-2 in the MAAC. Their 11 shutouts led the conference.

The men’s soccer All-MAAC Preseason team consists of three Quinnipiac players: Machel Baker, Tobias Eshe and Borja Angoitia. Angoitia was the 2013 MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year and the MAAC Championship MVP a season ago.

The women’s soccer team, on the other hand, is slated to finish seventh. In its first season in the MAAC, Quinnipiac played to a 3-3-4 record in conference play and maintained one of the best defenses in the league. Jess Lavoie, Jessica Fontaine, and Joanna Proctor were all awarded All-MAAC Preseason honors.

The Quinnipiac women’s volleyball team was picked eighth in the MAAC preseason poll. With a young and talented roster, the Bobcats will return 10 of 13 letterwinners from last fall. In the Bobcats’ first season in the MAAC, they marked a 3-15 record in conference play, their best intra-conference record since the 2010 season.

One player who stood out last season was middle hitter Allison Leigh, who was named to the MAAC All-Rookie team a season ago. She was the first Bobcat to win such an award since the 2004 season.

The men’s cross-country team was selected to finish seventh in the MAAC. Junior Brendan Copley will look to lead the way this year, as he helped the Bobcats’ finished seventh in the MAAC Championships last fall.

The women’s cross-country team has been selected to finish in second place in the MAAC. Head coach Carolyn Martin has plenty of championship from when Quinnipiac was in the Northeast Conference. She led the way to four conference titles in her first four years, and is now looking to bring that winning attitude into the MAAC conference.

Martin will be relying on a young but talented group that includes 12 returning runners from a year ago. Niamh Ashe placed 11th in the New England Championships and 3rd in the MAAC Championships.