Blackbirds take down the Bobcats

Dan Baker

Prior to Sunday’s game against Long Island, Quinnipiac University women’s soccer head coach Dave Clarke knew his team needed a win. The team was tied for sixth in the NEC and had to make up ground to finish in the top four and play in the conference tournament.

The Bobcats were unable to earn the win, falling 1-0 to the Blackbirds on Senior Day and now face two must-win road games next weekend.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, all the players gathered to eat a team breakfast. Cereal, yogurt and orange juice were on the menu for the cold fall morning. As the team ate their breakfast, they began to watch the video that they have watched before every game this season.

Earlier in the season, the video was a highlight tape from the 2006 FIFA World Cup that was set to U2’s “One Love.” Now, the team has their own highlight video that is set to the same song. A few of the players can be heard saying,

“It gets better everytime.”

After watching the video, Clarke wants the players to be focused on the task at hand.

“Everything from here on is about today,” Clarke tells his team.

As the players disperse to get ready for the game, Clarke sits in his office deciding on a starting lineup. The training staff has told Clarke that Sarah Lawlor will be able to play in 10 to 15 minute spurts.

Clarke and his two assisstants, Stephen Coxon and Matt Micros decide they are goin to hold Lawlor out of the game for the first 15 minutes of the game. The three also discuss who will start and they decide their main focus should be on attacking the Blackbirds right fullback with a variety of fast players.

At 11:10 a.m., the three coaches head down to the locker room to talk to the team before the game. Coxon begins his speech by referring to some of the comments that Manny Ramirez had made a few weeks ago.

With his team trailing 3-1 in the ALCS, Ramirez told reporters that he wasn’t worried and that losing would not be the end of the world.

Coxon urged his team to take this same approach and not worry about losing.

“It’s not what happens if we lose,” Coxon said. “It’s what happens when we win.”

Next up to give his speech was Micros. Micros handed out a small lamenated strip of paper to each one of the players. On the strip was a quote from Calvin Coolidge about persistance.

In his speech, Micros focused on the fact that with persistance you get back exactly what you put in. He urged his team to be persistant on the field against the Blackbirds.

At 11:20 a.m., the players took the field for a quick warm-up and returned to the locker room to get their last instructions from Clarke.

Clarke went over the starting line-up and outlined what he wanted from his starters.

At 11:40 a.m., the Bobcats took the field to complete their pre-game warm-ups.

Prior to the game, Quinnipiac honored its eight seniors as it would be the last time they would play at Bobcat Field.

The eight seniors that were honored were Kate Ahearn, Leisl Lissfelt, Kate Lissfelt, Brittany Lockwood, Mallory Curran, Chloe Beizer, Jenna Anderson, and Rachelle See.

The Bobcats best chance to score came only four minutes into the game. Susan Donovan received the ball just outside the penalty area and sent a shot that just went over the crossbar.

With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, LIU (8-7-1, 4-3 NEC) earned a corner kick. As the ball sailed toward the net, Beizer made a diving save to knock the ball away from the goal. Beizer was hurt on the play and left the game momentarily.

With under 15 seconds remaining in the first half Kyla Miles’ shot was deflected by a Blackbird and sailed just wide.

The lone goal of the game came off the foot of Caitlin Meadows with under 18 minutes left in the game. The Bobcats were unable to find the equalizer and were forced to take the 1-0 defeat.

Quinnipiac (9-5-2, 2-3-2 NEC) continued its second half slide as they are now 0-3-2 in their last five games. During this stretch the Bobcats have been unable to score a goal. The last goal the Bobcats scored was during a 3-0 win over Robert Morris back on Oct. 12.

Clarke believes that the defending NEC Champions out-played the Bobcats in every facet of the game.

“We were out-worked, out- hustled, out-everythinged.” Clarke said.

The Bobcats will look to climb the NEC standings when they travel to take on sixth-place Sacred Heart on Friday. The Bobcats will conclude their regular season against third-place Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday. The Bobcats will most likely need to win both games in order to qualify for the NEC tournament.