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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse falls to Sacred Heart 14-12, drop to 0-3 for first time since 2016

Michael LaRocca
Graduate student midfielder Amy Nicoloff readies for a shot against Sacred Heart on Feb. 28.

FAIRFIELD, Conn — If you thought “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet went out of style, Sacred Heart women’s lacrosse clearly didn’t get the memo. It was played after all four goals scored by junior attacker Shae Insinga, including the game-clincher, in the Pioneers’ 14-12 win over Quinnipiac Wednesday. 

The Bobcats entered the match against its future MAAC rival with a 0-2 record, looking to prevent its first 0-3 start since 2016. However, that dubious distinction ultimately came true by the rainy afternoon’s end. 

Quinnipiac stumbled out of the gate, falling behind 8-4 by halftime. The Bobcats showed little sign of life beyond six caused turnovers from the defense and two goals from freshman midfielder Maggie Kennedy, the first two of her career. 

“Our spark and our energy at the beginning of the game wasn’t there,” interim head coach Jordan Christopher said. “Our first half was not Quinnipiac lacrosse. What we started talking about with this game was how we wanted 60 minutes of Quinnipiac lacrosse, and our first 30 definitely wasn’t that.”

Some of Quinnipiac’s issues stemmed from its netminding. Junior goalkeeper Lindsay Mazzucco, in her third start of the season, made four saves in the first quarter and one more total over the game’s final three quarters. Mazzucco’s save percentage over the final three frames was .091. 

What kept the Bobcats alive against the Pioneers was the strength and pace of their offense in the second half. Four goals from sophomore midfielder Mia Delmond and goals from Kennedy and junior attacker Angelina Sparacio helped turn an 8-4 halftime deficit into a 10-10 tie with 13 minutes left in regulation. 

Three of those goals came in an 85-second span near the end of the third quarter, shrinking the lead and hushing the meager Pioneer crowd. 

“We were able to win a lot of the draws,” Christopher said. “So having possession helped us and then we were also able to have the power play opportunities on our side this time. So we were using that (player) up advantage fairly often, and we were able to actually execute a little bit better on it today.”

In the second half, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart were even on draw controls, but it was a stronger showing than the first half when the Pioneers outdrew the Bobcats 9-5. Player advantages were important for the Bobcats as they scored on three of the eight times the Pioneers had a player sent off via green card in the second half. 

Despite the offensive fireworks from Quinnipiac, it never led at any point. 

Whenever things got close in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats were silenced by Sacred Heart’s three-headed monster of Insinga, graduate attacker Emma Kittredge and sophomore attacker Maggie Araneo. The trio combined for all of the Pioneers’ 14 goals on the day. The game-clinching goal came from Insinga, her fourth, with 3:21 left in regulation, making it 14-12 Pioneers. 

This game can likely be the spark for an in-state rivalry between the two schools. Despite playing each other during non-conference play since 2022, Quinnipiac is guaranteed to face off against Sacred Heart every year from now on with the Pioneers becoming full members of the MAAC during the 2024-25 athletic year. 

“To have them join the league, this will definitely add a little fuel to our fire come next year for sure,” Christopher said. “It’ll be good to have them (in the MAAC) and have a rivalry.”

For now, the Bobcats are figuring out how to get back to playing “Quinnipiac lacrosse” ahead of their trip to the Jersey Shore this Saturday to play former MAAC foe Monmouth. 

“It’s going to start with us tomorrow,” Christopher said. “Our practice has to elevate. Our execution at practice has to elevate. Our body language, our attitude, our energy, everything about it has to just be better. You’re a Division I student-athlete and you have to show up every day ready to compete, and we’re going to make sure that we work on that come tomorrow.”

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Michael LaRocca
Michael LaRocca, Opinion Editor

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