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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac brings the heat, downs Stonehill 5-0

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac women’s soccer improves to 2-2 on the season with Monday’s win.

HAMDEN, Conn. — The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team battled the heat against Stonehill Monday and put the questions surrounding its offense to bed, at least for now. The Bobcats took down the Skyhawks 5-0 behind strong performances across the board. 

“The most important thing was winning, and now the season starts,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “Our preseason is over. It was important to sort of put it all together.” 

In the opening minutes of the contest, sophomore forward Morgan Cupo went down with what appeared to be a severe lower-leg injury. The game was paused while paramedics treated Cupo on the field, who was then transported to the hospital via ambulance to receive further medical attention. Quinnipiac Athletics did not have any further updates on Cupo’s condition following the game.

“Morgan’s injury and the extent of it didn’t look good,” Clarke said. “(The players) kept their composure, and we talked at halftime.” 

As has been the theme throughout the early portion of the season, the Bobcats were finding difficulty converting on scoring chances. That all changed in the 24th minute when senior forward Courtney Chochol fired a shot that bounced off the top crossbar. Graduate midfielder Markela Bejleri collected the loose ball and fired a shot into the back of the net, thus opening the floodgates for a dormant Quinnipiac offense. 

“I think we’ve definitely been on the come-up,” Chochol said. “I think the first couple games were a little shaky, but I feel like it’s definitely starting to click.” 

The Bobcat offense couldn’t find the back of the net for the rest of the half, but they didn’t let up in their relentless pursuit of pressuring the ball. None the better example than when senior midfielder Emely van der Vliet delivered a beautiful slide tackle. 

It was clear that Quinnipiac was playing with a certain intensity that Stonehill couldn’t match. Despite the 90 degree temperatures, the Bobcats flew all across the field. 

“When you’re tired, you play like you’re tired. When it’s hot you play like it’s hot,” Clarke said. “We were trying to quicken the tempo and not think about the heat.” 

Throughout the early stages of the second half, Quinnipiac was making its living in the Stonehill zone, applying constant pressure on senior goalkeeper Mia Jackson. As the game entered the 62nd minute, Quinnipiac doubled its lead. This time, Chochol didn’t let the crossbar stop her from finding twine as well as her first goal of the season. 

The Bobcats didn’t waste any time getting back on the attack. 30 seconds later, sophomore midfielder Madison Alves headed in a looping pass from Chochol to extend the lead. 

“My challenge to them at halftime was to get the second and then score a third right away,” Clarke said. “Which is exactly what they did.” 

Quinnipiac didn’t plan on stopping at three. It continued its relentless attack leading to a strike from the top of the box from junior defender Talie Lyon that blew right past Jackson. The goal marked her second of the season on only two shots attempted. 

“(Lyon’s) actually one of our fittest and she’s our quickest player, even if she doesn’t always look like it,” Clarke said.  

A day that saw one Bobcat go down with a serious injury also saw one return and finally get her moment following years of injuries. 

In the 81st minute junior midfielder Ana Carlos took advantage of a loose ball in front of the Skyhawk net and buried it for her first collegiate goal. Carlos was playing in only her fourth game since arriving in Hamden in 2021. 

“It felt incredible,” Carlos said. “It just feels so good to be surrounded by my teammates who have helped me and motivated me through rehab.”

As the final seconds ticked off the clock Quinnipiac certainly celebrated the win, but the looming start of MAAC play hasn’t left its mind. 

“I think as long as our team plays well the game is going to work out, especially going into the MAAC,” Chochol said. “We should win.” 

The Bobcats open up conference play on Sept. 9 at 12 p.m. when they travel to Niagara.

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