Field hockey downs first-place Sacred Heart

Alec Turner

Freshman Gemma Cirera led the way for the Quinnipiac field hockey team on Friday afternoon, scoring the lone goal for the Bobcats in their 1-0 win over Sacred Heart. It was the second straight game where Cirera scored for Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main is happy with how the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week has been performing.

“She’s coming on strong for us now, and we are really happy to see that,” Main said.

With the win, Quinnipiac (7-10, 3-2 MAAC) has clinched its spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. It will be the second consecutive game in which the Bobcats make a postseason appearance.

“A bunch of monkeys are running on the field after falling off our backs,” Main said following the game. “We had to focus on the mind for today’s game.”

This is the fourth straight game that the Bobcats finished with a one goal margin. In that span, Quinnipiac has finished 2-2.

“It’s a typical close MAAC game, and we are glad we came out on the right end of the stick,” Main said.

Sacred Heart (9-8, 3-2 MAAC) came into the match on top of the conference standings, and had an opportunity to clinch the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a win.

The Pioneers came out in the beginning of the match on a strong attack. Setting up three straight penalty corners, they had several opportunities stopped by Quinnipiac goalie Megan Conaboy. Sacred Heart outshot Quinnipiac 9-2 in the first half, including three from Liz Bergman.

The Bobcats and Pioneers opened up the second half battling around midfield. 12 minutes into the half, Cirera put the Bobcats on the board with a slap shot following a rebound on one of her previous shots.

“That shot is nasty, and we will let her take that shot as much as she wants,” senior Megan Osanitsch said about Cirera. “She was putting the ball in the net all week at practice, and she did that today.”

The Bobcats held off several attacks from the Pioneers, including a penalty corner in the final minute of the game where Conaboy had to block a series of shots.

Quinnipiac finishes up its regular season against Villanova on Sunday, and then will begin preparing for the postseason.

“It’s all about preparation,” Osanitsch said.