One final home game may not have mattered in the standings, but a rain-soaked afternoon win meant everything to the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team.
The Bobcats defeated the Siena College Saints 2-1 in Hamden behind stellar play from a few seniors, who potentially played their final game on the home turf. The game had no impact on the Bobcats’ seeding for the MAAC tournament, but it was a great confidence boost going into the postseason.
The Bobcats had plenty of early chances but couldn’t capitalize and allowed the Saints to strike first. Junior forward Jayanna Monds made a run into the box and made a pass that deflected off Bobcats senior defender Kylie Lance, went over the head of freshman goalkeeper Meaghan Phillips and landed in front of sophomore forward Carrie Krohn who was able to put it into the empty goal to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
A little over three minutes later, the Bobcats struck back when senior forward Ally Grunstein received a crossing pass from freshman midfielder Olivia Scott in the box. Her first shot bounced off Saints senior goalkeeper Taylor Dorado, but Grunstein was able to put the rebound into the net to tie the game at 1-1. It was Grunstein’s first goal of the season in her final match on the home field.
“I’ve been getting some assists here and there for the season but just to have a goal in the last time I’ll be playing on this field means a lot,” Grunstein said.
The Bobcats weren’t done in the first half as leading scorer sophomore midfielder Selena Salas scored her fourth goal of the season off a quick pass from freshman forward Dani Zerbo to give the team a 2-1 lead. Both goals seemed to be a product of prioritizing offense in practice.
“We’ve worked on a few things in the last week in the final third,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “Especially using the yellow line in as a focus. The two goals we got today in terms of skill level were good.”
The Bobcats had a chance to extend the lead in the second half on a corner kick that was almost put in goal by Lance. The ball was saved by Dorado, but it bounced off the hand of a Saints defender, resulting in a penalty kick for the Bobcats.
Grunstein took the penalty and shot a rocket towards the bottom right of the net, but Dorado made an diving save to keep the score at 2-1.
The Saints had a couple of chances to tie the game near the end. With seven minutes left, senior goalkeeper Olivia Myszewski made an aggressive save off a shot by junior midfielder Deanna Lomino as she rushed towards a shooting Lomino and stopped the shot just a couple of feet away from the midfielder.
Myszewski made another save with six minutes left on a free kick from freshman forward Katrina Kurtz that went past the wall and took a sharp bounce before landing in the hands of Myszewski who dove to the ground to make the save.
Myszewski took over from Phillips at halftime, as Clarke gave her a chance to play in her final home game.
“It’s a good way for her to sort of close out her career at home,” Clarke said
With less than two minutes to go, the Saints had two great shots on goal, but Lance was there to make two diving blocks to maintain the Bobcats’ lead and end her home career with two highlight-reel plays.
The Bobcats would hold on the rest of the way, winning 2-1. The win gives them a 3-1-1 record in their last five games heading into the postseason.
The rain didn’t limit the offense for either team as they combined for 39 shots in the game, including 19 on goal. After only scoring one goal in the last two games, the Bobcats increased their offensive pressure, as they spent over 70% of their possessions in the attacking end of the field.
The team has the fifth seed locked up which means Quinnipiac will play the fourth seed Marist Red Foxes on Sunday, Nov. 3.