Women’s lacrosse has gone radio silent, on and off the field

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

The start of the 2023 Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse season was just right. In a physical game against Sacred Heart on Feb. 15, the Bobcats fought their way to a hard-fought 16-11 win over the Pioneers. The victory was good for the program’s fourth season-opening win since 2017.

“I’m just really proud of them,” head coach Tanya Kotowicz said on Feb. 15. “I think we kind of got to see a lot of what we’re practicing. It’s nice to beat up on someone other than ourselves. So just to get out there and get our first win on our field, our home opener, it’s really important.”

Then it all fell apart. Fast.

In the two games that followed, the Bobcats lost to the then-winless LIU Sharks 13-6 and the then-No. 21 Yale Bulldogs 14-5. The two games showcased Quinnipiac’s lack of offensive prowess, as the 11 combined goals scored were the lowest total in a two-game stretch since 2018, where the team only mustered nine goals against Hofstra and Kennesaw State.

Problems were evident all over the field. The offensive rushes that worked against the Pioneers disappeared, and the defense gave up too many free-chance shot opportunities. Goaltenders senior Kat Henselder and sophomore Lindsay Mazzucco allowed 27 goals in a start everyone would hope to forget.

Graduate student midfielder Maddie Deegan, taking over a leadership role this season, voiced her displeasure in the LIU outcome. After the final whistle, Deegan huddled her teammates and emotionally asked why their five-goal outburst in the fourth quarter wasn’t able to extend the whole match.

After each Quinnipiac sporting event, coaches and players are pulled aside for an interview with the media. However, after the LIU loss, Kotowicz, associate head coach Jordan Christopher and the roster all quickly shuffled into the locker room and did not return. What appeared to be a normal end-of-game conversation lasted into 30 minutes and beyond.

Understandably, a brutal loss can damage a team’s psyche.

But then the same thing happened after the Yale game last Wednesday. After a second-half that saw the Bobcats give up eight unanswered goals, the coaching staff brought the entire team into the locker room, without coming back for their usual postgame media availability.

Cameron Boon, associate director of creative content for athletic communications, wrote in a statement to the Chronicle that “there is no comment to provide” regarding the team’s postgame media availability. 

“The lack of postgame media at the last home game was not intentional,” Boon wrote.

Another 30 minutes passed until the press conference was unofficially canceled. Quinnipiac Athletic Communications did not immediately respond for comment regarding either occurance. Are there internal issues going on inside the locker room walls or is the team just drastically underperforming?

Something is up with this Quinnipiac squad and it is very evident what needs to change.

Giving sophomore midfielder EllaGrace Delmond more minutes on the field is the clear-cut answer to this team’s problems. Despite finishing third on the team in goals last season (25), Delmond’s role in the offense has diminished drastically.

“She is just a pure competitor,” Kotowicz said about Delmond on Feb. 15. “She’s team oriented. She just keeps getting better individually. And it just keeps elevating our team, which is really cool to see.”

In the one game the team has won this season, Delmond had three goals, but only has a single point in the next two losses. Getting an elite goal scorer on the field is something the coaching staff needs to start doing, especially with a UMass Lowell squad on the horizon that just scored 21 goals against Stonehill.

Kotowicz and her squad look to rebound from the rough two-game stretch with a bout against that same UMass Lowell squad March 1 at 1 p.m. Maybe getting on the road will be good for this team, as the Bobcats finally get to leave their Hamden confines for the first time this season.

At the end of the season, we may all be singing the Bobcats’ praises. “It’s not over until the fat lady sings” is the commonly-known expression in the world of sports. But for the women’s lacrosse team, the lady is silent, as was their performance these last few games.