The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s soccer draws Brown in NCAA Tournament

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac women’s soccer celebrates with the MAAC trophy following a 1-0 win over Fairfield on November 5, 2023.

Following an unbeaten conference campaign and a 1-0 win over Fairfield in Sunday’s MAAC championship game, the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team will meet the Brown Bears in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“They’ve earned this trip,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “It’s not easy to get back.”

The Bobcats, who finished conference play undefeated, were awarded a No. 14 seed in the lower-right bracket of the tournament. The bracket includes No. 1-seed UCLA, No. 2-seed Stanford and No. 3-seed Brown, who Quinnipiac will play on Saturday.

Quinnipiac returns to the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. The Bobcats fell to No. 2-seeded Penn State 4-1 in last season’s opening round. However, their goals have changed since last season.

“One of our coaches described us as insatiable,” senior forward and championship winning goal scorer Courtney Chochol said before the conference tournament began. “We’re never really satisfied. Even when we won and clinched first place, we knew that wasn’t our end goal. We know that we want to keep going and keep pushing. We want to get to the finals, we want to win the finals, we want to win the first round of the NCAAs.”

Quinnipiac’s opponent, the Brown Bears, present a formidable challenge. As they boast an impressive 11-2-2 record. Despite their 2-1 overtime defeat to Columbia in the Ivy League Tournament semifinal, the Bears have had a strong season, coming in as the No. 14 team in the country and standing eighth in RPI. This year will be Brown’s fourth-consecutive season in the tournament.

“Brown is going to be a great matchup,” sophomore midfielder Madison Alves said. “Their physicality, their strength and their speed matchup really well with us, and vice versa.”

For Quinnipiac, the matchup against such a highly-ranked opponent is an opportunity to not only avenge last season’s exit, but also to showcase its growth and depth of this year’s squad. Quinnipiac’s offense largely revolved around forward Rebecca Cooke last year, who led the country in goals scored. The Bobcats were tied with Penn State 1-1 in the second half last season, before Cooke got hurt and the Nittany Lions went on to score three unanswered goals.

Last year’s loss has also helped the Bobcats become more prepared for this year’s tournament.

“It’s just going through the full preparation,” Clarke said. “Last year the weather was really bad, we didn’t really get to train fully, it was probably the coldest day of the year. So, hopefully this year we’ll go and get to train fully and have a better experience.”

This season, the Bobcats have a more well-rounded offense, primed to withstand injuries and setbacks. Quinnipiac is led by Chochol, but has also seen significant contributions from senior midfielder Emely van der Vliet and graduate student forward Lily Schnieders, who have all combined for 19 of Quinnipiac’s 42 goals this year.

Kickoff for the opening round match is slated for Nov. 11 at 4 p.m.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *