A little rainy weather wasn’t going to put a damper on the Quinnipiac field hockey team’s day last Friday afternoon as they put together one of their finest performances of the season, defeating Lock Haven 1-0. The Bobcats came into the game with an overall record of 7-8 and 3-2 in conference play. In order to boost their place in the NEC standings, they had to do it against a Lock Haven squad that had yet to lose a conference game.
The first half was quite a defensive struggle, much in part due to the torrential downpours and strong winds that started at the 29-minute mark. Leaves were being blown on to the Lock Haven end of the field to go along with the heavy rain, but that only seemed to enhance the Bobcats’ level of intensity. This hard brand of play led to many frustrated faces on the Lock Haven sideline, as the Bobcats continued their defensive battle to end the half tied at zero. Much of this was thanks to some stingy defense and great goalkeeping by freshman Jenna Grossman, who finished the game with seven saves.
The second half started with better weather and even better play by the Bobcats. Momentum really carried the team in the second half as junior forward Anne Marie Mangano lit up the scoreboard with her third goal of the season just six minutes into the second half. It was set up by a massive scramble in front of the Lock Haven goal, but Mangano was there to capitalize.
“It was definitely right place, right time,” Mangano said. “When you put yourself in good opportunities to score and prepare for it in practice, it pays off. Having great teammates supporting you along the way is a huge factor.
Despite the momentum-shifting goal by Quinnipiac, Lock Haven showed why it is tied for the top spot in the NEC with a relentless offensive series in the final five minutes. During that span Lock Haven got off five hard but unsuccessful shots on goal. Once again, stellar play by Grossman helped clinch a victory for Quinnipiac.
“The key in the second half for us was to come out and continue what we did in the first,” head coach Becca Kohli said. “When we come out and play teams this good, they come out different in the second half and make it hard to adjust. I think we played the game we wanted to play for the entire 70 minutes. Even when we made mistakes, we were able to cover up for each other and that was a big key.”
This was clearly a big effort by the Bobcats and the reaction of the fans and team reflected that at the game’s conclusion. When time expired, the crowd roared and the Bobcats stormed the field in excitement.
The ‘Cats came into this game with a winning attitude, and good results followed.
“There really isn’t much to say when you bring 23 players to the field and 23 players show you what they’re made of,” Kohli said.
The Bobcats are starting to show teams what they’re made of and are certainly becoming a squad that no one wants to play as the season draws to a close.
On Sunday, the Bobcats shut out St. Francis (Pa.) 6-0. Kohli recorded her 100th career win the victory. The Bobcats jump back into tonight with a contest against Yale. That match is slated to start at 7 p.m. in New Haven.