LIU bites into Bobcats’ winning streak, hands Quinnipiac tough loss

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – On the cusp of its longest winning streak in nearly a decade, Quinnipiac field hockey came up short Sunday afternoon, falling 3-2 to LIU. 

The Bobcats fell behind early, nursing a 2-0 deficit heading into halftime after registering zero shots on goal in the opening 30 minutes. They’d claw back in the fourth quarter, scoring two goals in under a minute to even the score, but a late goal from Sharks senior forward Felicia King gave the visitors the edge. 

“We’ve [played] three games at 60 minutes and that gives us three wins,” head coach Becca Main said. “I think today was about a 30 minute game of good hockey a little bit too late.”

LIU opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first quarter when a Sharks forward broke free on goal. She wrapped the ball around the outstretched arms of sprawling Bobcats’ goalkeeper Cristina Torres and found freshman forward Jules Kuzmich in front of the net to put it home. 

The goal was the first Quinnipiac allowed in almost 200 minutes of play. The Bobcats came into the match riding back-to-back shutouts over Maine and Lafayette. 

They would give up a second as the first half drew to a close. LIU’s near-perfect passing found the Sharks up close and personal with Torres, who was powerless to stop a shot from graduate student forward Meilin Liotard off a beautiful setup feed from senior forward Kaitlyn Olton. 

Out of the half, Quinnipiac came with more energy. They pushed the pace of play and fought hard to the net, which led to the Bobcats putting three shots on target in the opening two minutes. 

That pressure didn’t show on the scoreboard, however, as it wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that the Bobcats finally found the back of the cage. 

With just under 10 minutes to play, senior forward Stella Tegtmeier stickhandled past four Sharks defenders before cutting across the striking circle and firing it home. 

Sophomore forward Lucia Pompeo notched the equalizer just 40 seconds later, as she pickpocketed an LIU defender before beating senior goalkeeper Maggie Streichert with a well-placed shot. 

“When you’re a team and you’re down zero to two, you’ve hardly taken a shot on goal and you’ve been dominated, you can’t get anything in for 30 minutes, to come back and [score] the two goals, that’s obviously what we focus on,” Main said. “That shows me that we are a very talented team.”

King’s dagger came with eight minutes to play in the contest, sinking the Bobcats into a hole they would not be able to dig themselves out of. 

“When we scored [to make it] 2-1, I was so excited and I feel like the energy changed,” sophomore forward Emilia Massarelli said. “And then we scored the next goal and we were so excited. But then they scored, and I feel like the energy went down again and we gave up.”

Quinnipiac will look to bounce back this Friday, as it hits the road to face Temple to kick off conference play. The Bobcats are now 3-2 on the young season, chasing their first above .500 campaign since 2013. 

“I know we have a lot in store for us,” Main said. “I’ve never felt more ready for Big East play.”