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Black Bears topple Bobcats in home opener
By Morey Hershgordon, QBSN Staff Writer
On a pristine Sunday afternoon, where coaches, players and fans couldn’t have asked for better weather, the Quinnipiac Bobcats did not turn in quite the performance they were hoping to have.
In the first home game as part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), the Quinnipiac Women’s Field Hockey team (0-4, 0-0) fell by a final score of 5-2 to a poised and talented Maine Black Bears team (2-3, 0-0) from the American East conference.
“I think when we scouted Maine, we had film that was a week old, so I think that our game plan that we put together worked well and that was to keep them from scoring in the midfield,” head coach Becca Main said. “They have great stick work, they are known for their stick work and yeah we did that, we didn’t let them score in the main field but we then allowed five goals on penalty situations.”
Most of that credit can be attributed to senior leader Amanda Danzinger (Smithtown, N.Y.). Playing extremely physical, Danzinger anchored a Quinnipiac defense that kept Maine from scoring on a number of occasions for the majority of the game.
Quinnipiac allowed two quick goals within the first ten minutes of the game, but sliced the deficit in half at the 13:38 mark. Graduate student Kristen Engelke (Medford, N.J.) scored off a corner from senior Christa Romano (Madison, N.J.). The goal was Engelke’s fourth of the season. She has now recorded a point in all four games.
“They [Engelke and Danzinger] are more than doing their jobs and that’s the reason I think we’re in these games, where in the past where we might have been blown out when you look at the BC [Boston College] game and the Syracuse game,” Main said. “I think the leadership that a senior like Amanda [Danzinger] and a grad student like Kristen [Engelke] … they’re performing their job day in and day out. They’re bruised, they battle, they’re bloody, they’re a mess, but that’s because they give everything in every game.”
Less than seven minutes after the Engelke goal, sophomore midfielder Nicole Sevey capitalized on a corner to extend the Black Bears lead, and take a 3-1 advantage into the second half.
The Bobcats once again cut the Maine lead to one with just under five minutes to play in regulation, but communication errors and sloppy play, which plagued the Bobcats all afternoon, led the Black Bears to two goals in the final two minutes, putting the game out of reach.
Despite the final score, Main says the Bobcats did hand in a quality performance in which they can take parts from the game to build off of, and incorporate in their upcoming games.
“I think that’s where you can’t take for granted that you have to piece by piece each game and take the good and the bad, work on the bad and enhance the good,” she said. “I think for us we didn’t take a step forward today in terms of finishing and playing up against an upper level team like Maine.”
Engelke says the Bobcats will be a force to reckon with in their inaugural MAAC season.
“I think now that we know we can compete with these higher level teams,” Engelke said. “We need to take the things that did work for us in the past couple of games. We have showed our strength and we have showed that we can compete and almost beat these teams.”
The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. as they travel to Easton, Penn. and encounter the Lafayette Leopards of the Patriot League. Conference play for the Bobcats begins exactly a month after Friday’s game.