Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse wins first MAAC postseason game in program history, defeats Canisius 10-4


Daniel Passapera

The Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team won its first postseason game in program history Saturday.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – For the first time in program history, the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team has a MAAC postseason victory. The Bobcats defeated the Canisius Golden Griffins 10-4 Sunday afternoon to advance to the MAAC semifinals.

“We have a responsibility to take care of who we represent, and that’s Quinnipiac,” Quinnipiac head coach Tanya Kotowicz said. “Every day, it’s about playing for the people that can’t or that aren’t on the field … so parents, anyone behind the scenes. That’s what this was all about.” 

Quinnipiac jumped out to a dominant 5-0 lead in the first quarter. Senior attacker Desiree Kleberg got the Bobcats on the board first, scoring on a free-position shot just 44 seconds into the contest. Senior attacker Emily Feeney, graduate student midfielders Sophie Spencer and Maddie Deegan, along with Kleberg (again) all found the back of the net as part of the five-goal Bobcat run. 

“It was important for us to focus on the start, rather than have to catch up because we’ve been doing that the last couple of games,” Feeney said. “So for us to start out really strong was important.”

Canisius managed to score one goal before the end of the first quarter, as graduate student midfielder Skylar McArthur — the Golden Griffins leading scorer — beat Quinnipiac senior goalkeeper Kat Henselder to cut the deficit to 5-1 after 15 minutes.

Feeney continued to give the Golden Griffins fits on the offensive end, opening the second quarter with her second goal of the game and extending the Bobcats’ lead to five. However, Canisius fought back, scoring two goals before halftime, but Quinnipiac still held a 6-3 lead at the break.

As the game wore on, the teams got more comfortable on the defensive end and goals became harder to come by. The two teams went scoreless in the third quarter, as Henselder shined. 

“She’s just a very steady, talented, willing to learn player,” Kotowicz said. “We’ve been chipping away at making her game just a little bit tighter, and she locks down the backside of our defense and it really showed today.”

Despite Quinnipiac once holding a five-goal lead, the Golden Griffins never went away. With 11:02 to play, the visitors got the deficit down to two as senior midfielder Paige Stachura got a low shot past Henselder. 

The Bobcats responded. Quinnipiac went on to score the final four goals of the game, sealing the victory. Deegan scored on a man-up, pushing the lead back to three. Sophomore attacker Abby Wise made a spin move to find space and then powered a shot that Canisius freshman goaltender Jody Chu couldn’t keep out of the net. Feeney completed her hat-trick with 4:40 to play, delivering the knockout blow to the No. 5 seeded Golden Griffins. 

Wise’s second goal of the quarter capped off another Bobcat offensive explosion. 

The victory clinched the Bobcats a spot in the MAAC semifinals – their first appearance in program history.

Quinnipiac will take on in-state rival Fairfield on May 5 at noon, with a spot in the MAAC championship on the line.