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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

Quinnipiac stops Fairfield 1-0, claims second-consecutive MAAC Championship

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac women’s soccer won its second-straight MAAC Championship with a 1-0 victory over Fairfield Sunday.

HAMDEN, Conn. — There’s no atmosphere quite like a championship match, especially on the soccer field. It wasn’t the battle of Whitney Avenue, but it was a Connecticut throwdown Sunday as No. 1 Quinnipiac and No. 2 Fairfield, squared off for the MAAC title.

“Since the minute we stepped on campus, we had one vision,” sophomore midfielder Madison Alves said.

The Bobcats, undefeated in conference play, scored the game’s only goal in the opening minute and held on to win its second-straight MAAC championship with a 1-0 win over the Stags.

“At the beginning of the year we set a bunch of goals,” graduate defender Olivia Scott said. “We don’t lose at home. We retain home advantage. We win a semi final and we win a final.”

Quinnipiac is the second team in conference history to secure consecutive MAAC titles. Monmouth won four straight from 2016–2019.

“(The coaching staff) gave them a game plan two days after we lost to Penn State,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. 

Clarke and the coaching staff have had the same mantra all season.

“Retain the league title. Repeat as champions. We never talked about anything else,” Clarke said.

The Bobcats are bound for the NCAA tournament — their second appearance in a row. In 2022, Penn State eliminated Quinnipiac 4-1 in a first-round victory.

But the Bobcats are a stronger team this year, seeking more than just a taste of the tournament.

Quinnipiac showed dominance early, with senior forward Courtney Chochol netting a rebound pass off a corner kick in the first minute to leverage a 1-0 lead over Fairfield.

The Stags locked down their defense and held the Bobcats’ lead to one heading into the half. Quinnipiac remained a brick wall in the back. 

Both teams had offensive opportunities but came up with unanswered go-ahead passes and close shots. 

With in-state rivals gunning for a trophy, the contest did not go without physicality. Chochol, graduate student defender Kayla Mingachos and junior midfielder Ella Gagno each received yellow cards during the match, as did Fairfield senior defender Sydney Corbett.

Quinnipiac emerged from the locker room for the second half greeted by an electric crowd of navy blue. On the far side of the stadium, fans hung over the wall and shook the house with blaring horns and silly strings. It was a party in Hamden that didn’t stop.

“There’s a camaraderie here,” said Clarke. “All the parents, all the grandparents that are here. They’re the ones that drove them to every practice. They’re the ones that went to every high school game. They’re the ones that sacrifice to get them to play and become a Division I athlete.”

The Bobcats held possession in the Stags end for the majority of the half. 

With just over 15 minutes in regulation, Quinnipiac was awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Chochol fired what looked to be her second goal of the day, but the ball ricocheted off the lower right goalpost and out.

Although Fairfield’s season ended Sunday, its gritty performance on defense held the relentless Quinnipiac offense to one goal. 

In the end, the Stags couldn’t produce enough offense to dethrone the champions.

“When that whistle blew I was in tears,” Mingachos said. “It’s not over yet for us.”

The NCAA tournament selection will take place Monday, as Quinnipiac prepares for its second-straight crack at the College Cup.

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

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