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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Fourth quarter loss to No. 7 Liberty slows Quinnipiac field hockey’s postseason hopes

Cameron Levasseur
Graduate student forward Stella Tegtmeier recorded three shots in a 2-1 loss to No. 7 Liberty on Friday.

HAMDEN, Conn. — In one of the most important games in Quinnipiac field hockey history, the Bobcats almost shook up the Big East Conference playoff picture with a oh-so-close 2-1 loss to No. 7 Liberty Friday afternoon. The loss — Quinnipiac’s fifth-straight against the Flames — forces head coach Nina Klein’s squad into must-win scenarios to close the season.

“(Sunday’s game against Hofstra is) pretty much a must win for us,” Klein said. “We want to go into the tournament knowing that we’re ready to go.”

The first quarter went by fast, all 15 minutes filled with offensive chances for both sides. The Flames had more opportunities in transition, but were unable to crack the scoreboard. The hosts almost drew first blood as graduate student midfielder Stella Tegtmeier put the team on her back with a number of shots that just missed the mark. 

Four minutes into the next quarter and the Bobcats struck. A pass from graduate student forward Sophia Pompeo took an awkward bounce and found the stick of junior forward Lucia Pompeo to grab a 1-0 lead. The goal was the fifth of the season for Lucia, breaking a tie with her older sister.

“We knew rebounds were going to be critical for putting one on the board,” Klein said. “We knew we were going to have to be ready … it was just pure elation and happiness.”

Liberty began to make some headway, despite not capitalizing. The Flames’ slower-paced offense took time to settle in, but started to find holes in Quinnipiac’s defense. As the first half came to a close, a ferocious frenzy out in front was sniffed out by Bobcats sophomore goalkeeper Cristina Torres and the underdogs went into the locker room nursing a slim one-goal lead. 

“I think it was our best defensive game of the year, considering we held a No. 7 team to just two defensive penalty corner goals,” Klein said. “It’s something that we’re going to build on and bring us confidence.”

That advantage was almost nullified 10 minutes into the second half. Some quick shots off of corners by the Flames almost snuck past Quinnipiac’s back line, but they all sputtered out. That was until the corner penalty shots came in the final frame. 

Flames senior midfielder/defender Reagan Underwood got the pass on a corner, drilling the bottom corner of the cage and equalizing the game at one apiece. To add insult to injury, just two minutes later, the Flames took their first lead after graduate defender Bethany Dykema put home her 25th goal of her collegiate career.

That lead stood, as a late-game surge by the Bobcats ultimately fell short. The loss puts them two games under .500 and forces Klein to turn her focus onto the upcoming games on the docket. 

“If they show up like they did today, I think we have a really really good shot against Old Dominion and Temple, which are two pretty strong teams,” Klein said. “Just keeping (the team) poised.”

The Bobcats’ offense was limited yet again, as junior forward Emilia Massarelli was out for her third-straight game with a left wrist/hand injury. The 2022 Second Team All-Big East player recorded 13 points in nine games before going down. 

“You never want to be in a position where I feel like I have to rely on one person,” Klein said. “I think it’s just really trying to develop some of our younger players … but it’s been tough.”

Despite the defeat, Quinnipiac is still in the thick of the postseason picture. It welcomes in Hofstra on Sunday for a 12 p.m. matinee, before traveling to Norfolk, Virginia, for a conference bout with Old Dominion next Friday. 

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Ethan Hurwitz
Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor
Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

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