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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Women’s soccer finding its footing

Aidan Sheedy
The Bobcats offense exploded for five goals on Sept. 4 against Stonehill.

Following a humbling 4-1 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions in the NCAA Tournament, Quinnipiac women’s soccer knew what it wanted to do going into the 2023-24 season. 

“My goal, their goal, our collective goal, is to be the dominant team in the MAAC again next year,” head coach Dave Clarke said after last season’s NCAA Tournament loss to Penn State. 

In a season where they won the conference for the second time in conference history, had the leading goal scorer in the NCAA and dominated its opponents, Quinnipiac should have a surefire recipe for success. 

However, this year’s team does look slightly different as they lost the likes of Paige LaBerge, Lauren Triglione, Emily DeNunzio among others. However, the biggest loss for this team by far was the leading goal scorer in the country last year, senior forward Rebecca Cooke. She entered the transfer portal on May 4, 2023 and fast forward to June 16, Cooke officially announced that she was joining forces with the Penn State Nittany Lions. 

While the Bobcats suffered several major losses in the offseason, they also made a few new additions to their squad. They acquired grad transfer, Lily Schneiders, who scored her first goal of the season in the Bobcats 2-1 victory over Drexel. Also joining the squad were freshman forward Evelyn Keay and freshman midfielder Anna Hurlbut. 

So far this season, the Bobcats have a 2-2 record through four games. They were held scoreless in the first two games, losing 3-0 to the Providence Friars and 1-0 to the Dartmouth Big Green. 

Quinnipiac was severely outplayed against Providence, but in its home opener against Dartmouth, the aggressive attacking Bobcat team of last season showed up. The Bobcats outshot the Big Green 13 to six, but because of a costly penalty, Dartmouth was able to secure the victory. 

“We definitely created enough chances to win, definitely equalize, so we just got to get a little lucky break,” Clarke said. “We saw the one there, the scramble, the keeper had no idea where the ball was, she turns around and it just falls in her hands, so we’re not getting those little breaks and those little deflections are running against us.” 

Quinnipiac has been creating opportunities so far this season, it just couldn’t capitalize through those first two games. 

After a tough loss to Dartmouth, the Bobcats bounced back and defeated the Drexel Dragons at home by a score of 2-1. Quinnipiac scored its first two goals of the season and finally got some of those lucky breaks that Clarke alluded to. 

“I think it’s good for us, we needed that momentum 100%,” Schnieders said. “We instantly got that first goal in the first five minutes of the first half and we just kept going and going and then we got another one in the first five minutes of the second half. We really just needed that to boost our confidence.”

In their most recent game, the Bobcats dominated Stonehill 5-0 in its most convincing win of the season.

“I think that this has been coming for a long time,” junior midfielder Ana Carlos said. “Our first two games didn’t go the way we wanted, but we took that as a way to build and get better.” 

Now that Quinnipiac has picked up its first two wins of the season and built some momentum on offense, it should feel much more confident for the remaining non-conference games on its schedule. 

But conference play is where it really counts. Quinnipiac’s first game against a MAAC opponent is on Sept. 9 on the road against Niagara. The Bobcats true test will begin at noon in Niagara Falls. 

“Next Saturday is the key game,” Clarke said. “We’re still capable of playing better. We’ll have to make changes which I don’t alway like, but it’s the nature of the college game.” 

It’s going to be a much tougher road than last year, but with the experience and youth on this squad, Quinnipiac has just as good a shot as anyone to win it all.

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Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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