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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse opens season at No. 21 Yale, defeated 20-8 on Wednesday

Junior+attacker+Angelina+Sparacio+celebrates+after+scoring+against+Yale+on+Feb.+21.
Michael LaRocca
Junior attacker Angelina Sparacio celebrates after scoring against Yale on Feb. 21.

NEW HAVEN — After months of drama revolving around a head coaching change, Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team got back to doing what it loves Wednesday, playing lacrosse. 

The Bobcats took a trip up the road to New Haven, where they met arguably their toughest test of the season, a Yale team ranked No. 21 in the country. The Bulldogs showed exactly why they’re ranked that high, using a first half offensive explosion to beat Quinnipiac 20-8 Wednesday afternoon. 

Quinnipiac interim head coach Jordan Christopher felt like playing a team as talented as Yale would be a measuring stick for this season. 

“It’s a really good opportunity for us to showcase what we are capable of,” Christopher said. “It gives us a lot of things they can expose too … They definitely exposed some things. Draw controls were heavily in their favor and their shooting was good. Definitely some film we can watch to make Saturday a better day for us.”

The 20 goals allowed was the most that Quinnipiac has allowed since a five-goal loss to Manhattan on Apr. 9, 2022. 

Junior midfielder Fallon Vaughn got the party started for the hosts, scoring just a minute in on a man-up opportunity. Quinnipiac matched the goal two minutes later, as junior attacker Angelina Sparacio found the back of the net on a free position chance. 

Yale freshman midfielder Katie Clare made her presence known in the first quarter, scoring two goals in a three-minute span to open up the Bulldogs’ lead to two midway through the frame. 

Sparacio kept the visitors in it by cutting the lead to one, scoring her second goal of the game following a beautiful pass from junior attacker Abby Wise.

From there on, it was all Bulldogs. Yale scored four straight goals, capitalizing on Quinnipiac turnovers and cutting through the Bobcats’ defense. Clare added another in the frame, as the hosts took a 8-2 lead after one quarter. 

The Bobcats made a goaltender change after the quarter, swapping out junior Lindsay Mazzucco for senior Rebekah Lenoble. 

Sophomore attacker Cate Bendowski scored Quinnipiac’s first goal of the second quarter, snapping a 5-0 Yale run. 

However, Clare struck again. Her fourth goal of the game, followed by another Bulldog tally just a minute later, pushed the hosts into the double digits midway through the quarter. 

The Bobcats defended well for the latter half of the second quarter. But at the buzzer, senior attacker Bri Carrasquillo scored, putting any hopes of a Quinnipiac comeback to bed. 

Quinnipiac was outshot by Yale 17-4 in the first half, with the onslaught of offense mainly created off of turnovers.

“(Yale) was physical,” Christopher said. “I think we were expecting a little less physicality in between the 30’s because of how our rules have changed. The physicality threw us off a little bit. But, it was the first time out, for Yale it was their second, so I think that helped them in understanding what was going to be called and what wasn’t.”

The rules implemented by the NCAA in July are supposed to prevent physical play outside the critical scoring area in women’s lacrosse, which in turn increases how often teams have a man advantage.

“I think we were able to figure it out, but we’ve got to figure it out a bit faster,” Christopher said. “We’ve tried to adapt. The power play, which is our man up and man down, we do a lot more of it in practice than we ever have just because it is such a big piece to our game. We were man down a lot today. We’re going to keep working on it defensively and in the midfield too in order to hopefully not take those fouls.”

Yale kept the scoring going in the third, opening the frame with three straight goals, prompting Christopher to go back to Mazzucco in net. 

“All of our goalies have been battling it out in practice,” Christopher said. “All three of them have made it really difficult to figure out who we want the starter to be. Lindsay earned the start to today … We’re really going to keep deciding based on how they’re playing, I wouldn’t say it’s solidified by any means right now.”

Bendowski scored her second of the game, but her goal was the only time Quinnipiac could break the Bulldogs’ defense in the quarter, as the hosts snagged a 17-5 lead after three. 

Contrary to the first three periods, the Bobcats played their best lacrosse in the final frame. 

Quinnipiac dominated the first seven minutes of the quarter. The visitors scored all three goals to bring the deficit back to single digits, including a third goal from Sparacio and freshman midfielder Iris Polly’s first collegiate goal. 

“We were able to see that fight and what we’re capable of in that fourth quarter,” Christopher said. “We just have to find a way to put 60 minutes of that together.”

Ultimately, Yale controlled the final eight, scoring the last three goals to close out Quinnipiac for a 20-8 Bulldog win. 

Following the loss, Quinnipiac returns for its home opener on Saturday against UMass Lowell. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

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Michael LaRocca, Opinion Editor

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