QU field hockey kicks off spring training with 5-3 victory over Sacred Heart

Milton Woolfenden, Staff Writer

With goals being scored left and right in Saturday afternoon’s matchup against Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac found itself tallying its first win of spring training by a final of 5-3.

The Bobcats opened up spring training at home and while these games may not count that doesn’t mean you take it easy on your opponent.

Off the opening faceoff, the Bobcats controlled the early flow of the game. Just under three minutes into the first quarter junior forward Stella Tegtmeier led an offensive charge up the sideline into Pioneer territory. As she approached the goal, Tegtmeier found freshman forward Emilia Massarelli in the slot, who rocketed the ball past the pad of Pioneers sophomore goaltender Erin Burgess.

“Emma is just a constant playmaker for us,” junior midfielder Samantha Dugan said. “She just has so many skills to build around, and she can make a lot happen for us.”

With 8:19 remaining in the quarter, Pioneers sophomore forward Katie Rogers had a shot ring off the goal post, keeping it a 1-0 Bobcats lead.

However, Rogers got her revenge less than two minutes later when she wristed a shot up over the right shoulder of Bobcats junior goalkeeper Mack Vorel to make it 1-1.

But the celebration was short-lived as less than 30 seconds after the ensuing faceoff, sophomore forward Micaela Grajales snuck a shot under the glove of Burgess, giving the Bobcats the lead.

“Even though we got scored on, with how the girls started the game, I knew we wouldn’t be trailing for long,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main said.

Just over a minute after the goal by Grajales, Massarelli added to the Bobcat lead with her second goal of the game. Tegtmeier and junior forward Josie Sweeney both earned their second assists of the game on the play.

Just as the quarter was winding down with 25 seconds left on the clock, Pioneers junior midfielder Ashley Gillies wristed a shot right through the five-hole of Vorel, making it 3-2.

The second quarter started off all Quinnipiac. With 12:11 remaining, Sweeney passed the ball to freshman forward Lucia Pompeo. She put it past the blocker of Burgess, giving the Bobcats a two-goal cushion.

Quinnipiac still wasn’t done. Off a Bobcats penalty corner, junior midfielder Rachel Papernik rocketed a shot just past the outstretched glove of Burgess, making it 5-2 Bobcats.

Quinnipiac continued to put Sacred Heart on its heels playing catch-up as the third quarter got underway. With 9:43 on the clock, several Bobcats forgot their defensive assignments which allowed Rogers to net her second goal of the game.

Entering the fourth quarter you could tell that the Pioneers knew they were quickly running out of time to mount a comeback.

The bench, which had been electric all game had fallen silent. Coming out of the huddle you could see the doubt on several players’ faces. Their faces were saying “Can we just go now?” Players were dragging their feet to the opening faceoff.

While the Bobcats still drove into the offensive zone, they were more playing keep-away at this point, making sure to protect their lead.

“We wanted to control the controllable and give 100% energy from the first play to the last,” Bobcats junior forward Olivia Howard said.

Approaching the midway point in the quarter Massarelli fell to the ground in a heap in front of the Pioneer goal. After being checked out by the medical team Massarelli walked off the field under her own power. That would be the end of Massarelli’s day.

“She fell a little awkwardly on her ankle,” Main said. “It wasn’t serious but there wasn’t that much time left and we were in the lead, so I just had her sit for the rest of the game.”

Try as they might, the Pioneers couldn’t keep sustained pressure in the Bobcats’ zone and as the horn sounded, Sacred Heart started spring training with a loss.

Quinnipiac will be back in action Sunday, April 3, where it will face Fairfield, Bryant and Colgate in the first of two spring training tournaments.