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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s soccer drops season opener in Providence, loses 3-0 to Friars

The+Quinnipiac+womens+soccer+team+suffered+a+3-0+shutout+to+Providence+Sunday%2C+the+first+scoreless+effort+since+10%2F15%2F22+against+Iona.+
Ethan Hurwitz
The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team suffered a 3-0 shutout to Providence Sunday, the first scoreless effort since 10/15/22 against Iona.

PROVIDENCE, RI — It’s a new year and the defending MAAC champion Quinnipiac women’s soccer program was not its usual winning self. The Bobcats fell flat on the road against the Providence Friars, losing their season opener 3-0 Sunday evening.

“(It was a) Game of two halves for us,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “Passive in the first half, didn’t play the way we’ve trained … We’ve gone tougher with the schedule, give them a test.”

The game started off rough, both sides struggling to maintain possession consistently. If the hosts took control, a turnover would stop any rush in its track and vice versa for Quinnipiac.

The Friars’ best opportunity came in the eighth minute. On a picture-perfect cross, a diving stop from Bobcats’ senior goalkeeper Sofia Lospinoso was the only thing that kept the game scoreless.

But it was only scoreless for three more minutes, as Providence junior forward/midfielder Gillian Kenney found the loose ball in front and found twine for her first goal of the season and an early 1-0 lead.

Kenney then added another after the ball fell right to her feet in front of the Quinnipiac net in the 19th minute. The two goals by the Hanover, Massachusetts, native matched her goal total from 2022.

It was difficult for the visitors to create substantial chances. Any offensive threats created were thwarted by Providence. Stellar goalkeeping by freshman Ava Ripanti helped give the Friars their first victory against Quinnipiac since 2012.

A few scoring opportunities were generated by senior forward Courtney Chochol and graduate student forward Lily Schnieders. Both players were around Ripanti all night, but were unable to put it past her.

“We got in and started closing them down,” Clarke said. “You gotta jump on that … we changed formations a couple of times and that settled us down.”

With the second half came a brand-new Quinnipiac squad. Their passes were more crisp, the defense looked faster and the Friars offense seemed intimidated by the physicality. 

“The second half, they reacted.” Clarke said. “But they can’t keep reacting to me at halftime to start playing and matching the intensity. First half (was) not good enough, (the) second half was more than good enough.”

But that went away in a hurry. In the 73rd minute, a penalty allowed Providence senior forward Kyla Gallagher to step up to the dot for a chance to ice the game. One shot and one awkward bounce later, and the Friars’ lead extended to three. 

Despite the shutout defeat, there were some positives to take away. Clarke rotated his lineup often, allowing some of the reserves to get their legs under them. In what he called “an extension of the preseason,” Clarke made sure to emphasize that while these out-of-conference games are important, it’s the MAAC schedule that carries more weight. 

“Truthfully, the most important thing for us is the MAAC,” Clarke said. “We’re not gonna lose sight that it’s about winning the MAAC … If we lose a game (now), it better be about x, y and z and we learn from it.”

The Bobcats will look to bounce back and try to get into the win column when they return home on Aug. 27 to host Dartmouth in the home opener. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. in Hamden. 

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Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

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