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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Bears scratch Bobcats, take 3-0 first-round win

Peyton McKenzie
Senior forward Courtney Chochol watches on as Brown celebrates a 3-0 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on November 11, 2023.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Two conference champions find their prospective sides of the pitch, both in huddles between the half and the 18-yard box. They break apart and wait for the whistle. 

It’s the small details that make sports special, and it’s the small details that make sports devastating. 

Saturday, Brown ended Quinnipiac’s short-lived NCAA tournament appearance with a 3-0 victory in the first round. The Bears outshot the Bobcats 24-1, with Quinnipiac’s lone opportunity coming in the waning minutes of the second half.

“I don’t think we played as well as we should have,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. 

The Bobcats came to Providence holding the MAAC mantle above their heads while the No. 3-seeded Bears looked to swallow the bad taste in their mouth following a 2-1 overtime loss to Columbia.

“The way (Columbia) won, they kept the ball and we didn’t (keep the ball) enough,” said Clarke regarding the Lions’ triumph in the Ivy League Semifinals.

Immediately, the match turned physical. In the first half, Quinnipiac was dealt two yellow cards and Brown one amid a combined 13 fouls. 

Just 15 minutes in, Brown capitalized on a defensive miscue from Quinnipiac. The Bobcats got tangled in the box while attempting to clear a corner kick. Senior forward Ava Seelenfreund slipped a dribbler past Quinnipiac senior goaltender Sophia Lospinoso to give Brown a 1-0 lead.

“We had to try and do better and keep the ball a little bit better,” Clarke said. “You’ve got to adjust, otherwise you’re chasing.”

Quinnipiac’s defense doubled down for another 15 minutes, but a controversial free kick call on graduate midfielder Olivia Scott gave way for a second Brown goal. 

The Bears initially came up empty on the free kick after Lospinoso tipped the shot above the net. Brown was awarded a corner kick following Lospinoso’s save which kept the ball in Quinnipiac’s defensive zone. 

“When it got frantic, we were rushing,” Clarke said.

Sophomore defender Layla Shell earned Brown its second goal of the evening in the 30th minute, burying a loose ball in the lower left corner to give the Bears a 2-0 cushion. 

Graduate student midfielder Markela Bejleri kicks the ball towards the net on November 11, 2023. (Peyton McKenzie )

Despite a seemingly lackluster second half, Quinnipiac disrupted Brown’s offensive groove. Lospinoso and sophomore midfielder Madison Alves remained the Bobcats’ backbone and kept their team in the game. 

“Statistically, she’s one of the best players in the country,” Clarke said regarding Alves.

Quinnipiac was 35 seconds away from a second-half shutout. But Raphino wasn’t finished. 

After receiving a pass from senior midfielder Lucinda Anderson, Raphino dribbled past the Bobcats back line and met Lospinoso at the net with a one-on-one matchup. Raphino planted the shot in the lower right corner to seal the 3-0 win.

One conference champion sprints to the field and relishes in victory. The other circles around the half and accepts a loss. They break apart and head back to Hamden.

“(Quinnipiac’s) got to be able to play in these games and not just compete, but now go learn how to win,” Clarke said.

Now, it’s up to the Bobcats to retain and repeat with a younger club in 2024.


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

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