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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Temple downs Quinnipiac 3-2 in overtime, steals Big East tournament berth away from Bobcats

Peyton McKenzie
Sophomore forward Cameron Brower, left, dribbles the ball past freshman forward Mathéa Lassalle of the Owls, far right, during the Bobcats’ 3-2 overtime loss against Temple University on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Stadium.

HAMDEN, Conn. — Three of four teams clinched a spot in the Big East tournament slated to begin Nov. 3. On Friday, Temple became the fourth. 

In head coach Nina Klein’s first season, the Quinnipiac field hockey team came just short of a playoff berth.

“They put it all out there,” Klein said.

Temple entered the contest with a sense of deja vu. The Owls have crossed the tournament threshold three seasons in a row, clinching the fourth seed a year ago following a 3-2 upset over UConn. 

Quinnipiac has been pining for an appearance in the tournament since joining the Big East conference in 2016.

Scenario is no longer a foreign word to Quinnipiac field hockey. The Bobcats have seen every way they can advance to the tournament and every way they can’t.

As fate would have it, a new scenario was unveiled prior to Friday’s match. 

Not only did Quinnipiac need the win, but the matches commencing throughout and after the game were crucial. Old Dominion hosted UConn at 2 p.m., and Providence traveled to Villanova for a 5 p.m. game. Either UConn or Providence had to lose for Quinnipiac to truly secure a place in the Big East tournament.

Here’s what happened in Hamden.

The Bobcats and Owls came out aggressive, yet neither capitalized on offensive chances. A scoreless 15 minutes added fuel for an action-packed second quarter. 

Temple struck first. In back-to-back penalty corners, sophomore goaltender Cristina Torres seemed to save Quinnipiac from an early deficit. However, the second penalty corner proved otherwise.

Temple junior midfielder Devin Kinzel found the back of the net, giving the Owls a 1-0 lead. 

Then, it was Quinnipiac’s turn. Junior forward Lucia Pompeo received a pass from graduate midfielder Stella Tegtmeier to equalize the match at one.

Despite a lack of action in Hamden during the second and third quarters, there was plenty of action at another Connecticut school.

Old Dominion bounced back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat UConn 3-2 in overtime. The Huskies loss left Quinnipiac with one final task to make the tournament: win.

But winning is a grueling task, and it is not the first time Quinnipiac has struggled in key game moments.

“We have to get better,” Klein said. “It wasn’t enough.”

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Temple found itself with an opportunity. Once again, Kinzel was the hero, scoring on a penalty corner to give the Owls the 2-1 lead.

It seems Quinnipiac was out of options—until there was less than 90 seconds left in regulation. Klein pulled Torres from the net to give the Bobcats an extra player on the field. Tegtmeier gained possession and found graduate forward Sophia Pompeo headed for the net. 

Sophia Pompeo was hidden by a sea of maroon, but she managed to get her stick on the ball and past graduate goalkeeper Molly Frey to tie the match 2-2.

“They’re two of our most hard working athletes,” Klein said, referring to the Pompeo sisters, who each earned another goal Friday.

The Bobcats had a fighting chance heading to overtime. However, the extra frame has not been a friend to Quinnipiac. This season, it went 1-3 during overtime (only beating non-conference opponent Hofstra 3-2 on Oct. 15.  

Neither opponent had the upper hand, even in a six-on-six matchup. In the waning minutes of overtime, Sophia Pompeo received a yellow card, leaving Quinnipiac a man down when it mattered most. 

The Owls entered the Bobcats offensive zone, drawing a penalty corner. Junior defender Alizé Maes fired a shot at Torres, but the mighty goalkeeper gave Quinnipiac a second life. Moments later, junior midfielder Myrthe Schuilenberg received the rebound and launched the ball toward the net, soaring past Torres to secure a 3-2 win and a ticket to the Big East tournament.

So what’s next for Quinnipiac?

Klein looks to build the program for future Big East contention. In the offseason, Quinnipiac loses eight seniors, but Klein has high hopes for new recruits. 

Although the season did not end as anticipated, Klein has taken a young team and brought them mere seconds from a run in the tournament. 

“We’ll get there,” Klein said.

The Bobcats play their final game of the season on Sunday against Drexel at noon. 

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About the Contributors
Amanda Dronzek
Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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    Bob KOct 28, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Stella Tegtmeier made both QU goals happen with her heroics. She is the Bobcats best player and is the player that makes the offense work. The team depends on her. She will be greatly missed net year.

    It was a hard fought game. Congrats to Temple. Coach Vittese is an excellent coach. She took over a losing program and turned it around very quickly and are now making it into the Big East Tourney regularly. They will be tough to beat at home in the Big East Tourney in Philadelphia.

    A quick review of the box score: 9 subs used by Temple. They started subbing at the 5 minute mark and kept rotating all game. One sub was used by QU and that was putting in Massarelli coming back off injury. Late in the game they rotated a few tired players. QU played hard but they were gassed at the end of the game. When Coach Klein says “We need to get better” she should be saying that the coaches need to get better. It will not get better until they use the whole team.

    I’d suggest the QU coaches study what Vittese and the other successful Big East coaches are doing and copy that.