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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

What will it take for Quinnipiac field hockey to make the Big East tournament?

Staff writer Amanda Dronzek breaks down three potential scenarios ahead of the end of the regular season
Quinnipiac has yet to make the Big East Tournament since joining the conference in 2016.

 The 2023 season has been a tremendous rebuilding year for Quinnipiac field hockey. In 2022, it went 2-5 in Big East competition. With two conference games still to play this year, the Bobcats sit at 2-3, with a tournament berth in the balance. 

So what’s changed? 

The Bobcats are playing under their second head coach in team history — former associate head coach Nina Klein. 

The Klein era has brought newfound success to Hamden, with Quinnipiac now ranked fourth in the Big East amid a four-way tie between Providence, Temple and UConn. 

Despite their sub-.500 conference record, the Bobcats have led at some point during every match, falling by just a single goal in each loss. 

Performances outside the Big East are no different. In its four non-conference losses, Quinnipiac has started on top, only for teams to defeat it by a one-goal deficit. 

“We’re a completely different team than last year’s,” Klein said. 

But what’s the catch? Only four teams make the Big East tournament, which is slated for Nov. 3 in Philadelphia. Quinnipiac has the depth and the defense, but it lacks the goals. 

On Oct. 13, the Bobcats fell 2-1 to then-No. 7 Liberty. Both goals were scored on penalty corners by the Flames. Quinnipiac proved it can play, but it must execute offensively to win. 

Here are Quinnipiac’s most likely scenarios to cross the tournament threshold, and a third scenario where the Bobcats come up just short. 

Due to UConn’s strong strength of schedule and overall record, this article is written under the assumption that the Huskies will not enter the Big East tournament. 


The ideal outcome for the Bobcats is to sweep the rest of conference play. This includes upsetting Old Dominion on Oct. 20 and defeating Temple on Oct. 27. 

For this to be enough, Providence must first defeat last-place Georgetown. For the sake of clarity, it is assumed that Providence eliminates Georgetown. 

Villanova must lose to Temple on Oct. 20. Then, Villanova must beat Providence on Oct. 27. This places Quinnipiac in the fourth seed, tied with Villanova. 

There is another way for the Bobcats to slide into an even better seed: third place. If Providence upsets Villanova, Quinnipiac moves up to the No. 3 seed, clinching a spot in the tournament. 


Quinnipiac is in a three-way tie for fourth place with Providence and Temple. 

On Oct. 20, The Bobcats travel to Old Dominion as the underdog for a crucial contest. Quinnipiac is 0-6 against Old Dominion since 2017. Currently, the Monarchs are the No. 2 seed in the Big East. They only trail undefeated Liberty. 

However, Quinnipiac can lose to Old Dominion and still secure fourth place. 

Why? That same day, Providence will likely take down Georgetown, and Villanova is expected to beat Temple. 

Oct. 27, the probable winners Providence and Villanova go head-to-head. For Quinnipiac to advance in this situation, Villanova must top Providence. 

Whether Quinnipiac defeats or falls to Old Dominion, its match against Temple on Oct. 27 — the Bobcats’ final home conference game of the season — is a must-win. 

Now, Quinnipiac and Providence are in a two-way tie for fourth place with 3-4 campaigns. In accordance with Big East competition, a two-way tie is broken by head-to-head regular season records. The Bobcats are 1-0 against the Friars, meaning they would advance. 


The tables turn for the Bobcats if Providence beats Villanova on Oct. 27. Even if Quinnipiac goes 2-0 for the remainder of conference play by upsetting Old Dominion and Temple, it may not be enough. 

Villanova’s record would fall to 4-3, tying with Quinnipiac and Providence. In a three-way tie, the team with the best overall record moves on. In this scenario, that team is Villanova. 

Therefore, Quinnipiac would walk away empty-handed.

What’s the bottom line? If Quinnipiac fails to take down Temple, it will be eliminated from entering the Big East tournament.

The Bobcats are playing a game of dominoes. Each piece must fall into place, or their season will be cut short.

“It’s going to be a great fight,” graduate midfielder Stella Tegtmeier said about Old Dominion. “It’s going to be another Big East challenge.”

Klein hopes to see junior forward Emilia Massarelli back on the turf for the match, but her return is still up in the air.

“She’s surely missed right now,” Klein said. “I don’t want to be a team that builds around one player.”

Massarelli missed the past four games recovering from an injury in her left wrist and hand. In 2022, she earned All-Big East Second Team honors and was named to the NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region Second Team.

Klein and the Bobcats have been forced to adapt without a key offensive component. In the meantime, graduate transfer forward Sophia Pompeo, returning junior forward Lucia Pompeo and returning sophomore forward Cameron Brower have bolstered Quinnipiac’s attack to make up for Massarelli’s absence.

Whether Quinnipiac makes the Big East tournament is a coin toss. Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the Bobcats have proven they belong in a competitive conference, and they have the depth for a successful future.

“They have fight. They have passion,” Klein said. “They have love for each other.”

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Amanda Dronzek, Associate Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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    Bob KOct 21, 2023 at 5:17 pm

    Good analysis but “new found success” is generous. They are tied for fourth with 2 conference wins. Temple and UConn have completely fallen off where they were last year or the conference would already be decided. On the bright side, the Bobcats have a chance to match or exceed last years season win total under Coach Main but it won’t be easy as the RPI of their last three regular opponents are 31, 33 and 21 respectively. At this point they need to beat Temple to have a chance to win tiebreakers. Temple is 3-3 on the road. For the Bobcats to win, the coaches will have to learn to sub players before they get tired and ask to come out. Teams like Liberty regularly cycle 5+ players starting at the four minute mark into the game. In Temple’s game vs Villanova, Temple utilized 10 subs and Villanova 9. Bobcats seldom sub. It has cost them at least three wins. If the Bobcats are going to be successful, the coaches are going to have to learn how to do the same thing or we are going to keep seeing them fall short late in the game when the players tire out. I hope they learn that before they play Temple.