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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac battles through slow start, bad conditions to take down Canisius 2-0

Peyton McKenzie
Senior forward Courtney Chochol, right, dribbles the ball away from defenders on Sunday, September 17, 2023 at the Quinnipiac Univeristy Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium.

HAMDEN, Conn — The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team battled through a slow start in cold and rainy conditions to take down Canisius 2-0 Saturday afternoon and remain undefeated in MAAC play. 

The game’s playing style was eerily similar to the weather the teams were playing in, both teams combined for 28 fouls, including four yellow cards. Though the Bobcats fully expected Canisius’ chippy play coming into Saturday’s contest. 

“You gotta give it right back to them,” graduate defender Olivia Scott said. “They liked to chat in our ears throughout the whole game, but it ended up throwing them off too.” 

Despite being in a full-fledged defensive battle, the Bobcats still found a way to pressure the Golden Griffins. In the 15th minute, junior defender Madison Mandleur sent a shot that rattled off the right post, keeping the game gridlocked at zero. 

“Canisius likes to hold a couple blocks so we were trying to play through them,” Scott said. “It didn’t end up working with the conditions.” 

For the remaining 30 minutes of the half, both teams traded hard-nosed fouls which led to neither side seeing much success in their respective offensive ends. At the end of the half Mandleur’s ring off the post remained the lone shot on goal for both squads. 

Throughout the first month of the season Quinnipiac has found most of its offensive success in the second half. Today that was no difference as the offense produced scoring chances early and often in the final 45 minutes.

“We find we’re a second half team,” Scott said. “It’ll be 0-0 at half then all of a sudden it’ll be 5-0. We knew keeping the pressure on and the emotion out of the game was going to help.” 

Quinnipiac clearly shifted its mentality in the second half, as only three minutes in Scott connected on a beautiful header from senior midfielder Emely van der Vliet, burying the shot for her first goal of the season. 

“We tweaked the formation a little bit,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “We wanted them to take an extra touch and deliver balls into our key locations.” 

The Bobcats kept the pressure up but encountered their biggest challenge of the day – the crossbar. In the 54th minute, senior forward Courtney Chochol sent a shot rattling off the crossbar. Scott collected the rebound but also saw her shot get denied in the same fashion. 

With the offense beginning to click in the second half, the defense continued to suffocate the Golden Griffins’ attack. Quinnipiac only allowed a single shot on goal that didn’t challenge senior goalkeeper Sofia Lospinoso, who orchestrated her third shutout of the season. 

“I’m constantly organizing the backline, it’s always a constant conversation back there,” Lospinoso said. “Today was just staying compact, playing our game and knowing how to defend.” 

As the defense was doing its job the offense held up its side of the deal when in the 82nd minute, sophomore midfielder Milena Branco buried her first collegiate goal. 

“It was definitely long awaited,” Branco said. “In my freshman year I was waiting for this moment, but sophomore year I was able to get it.” 

The Bobcats were able to hold off the chippy Canisius play for the final eight minutes and hold on for their fourth win of the season and  second in MAAC play. 

Quinnipiac is next in action when it travels to Rider on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. to continue conference play. 

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Colin Kennedy, Associate Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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