Bobcats struggle in loss to Huskies

By Kevin Noonan, QBSN Staff Writer

For the second straight game, the Quinnipiac Bobcats’ defense struggled to keep the opposing team off the board, and UConn defeated Quinnipiac 20-6 in non-conference women’s lacrosse action.

The speed of UConn’s attack and defenders was too much to handle for the Bobcats as they could not get past nor stop the Huskies.

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“I think for us its very obvious what we need to work on and that’s something that we really knew that playing a challenging schedule would illuminate our weaknesses quite clearly and hopefully give us the opportunity to work on them and get everything rolling the way we want it to before we enter conference play,” head coach Danie Caro said.

Quinnipiac (0-2) jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first minute of the game off a free position for senior Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.), her first goal of the season.

The Huskies (3-0) responded quickly with two goals coming 27 seconds apart to jump out to a 2-1 lead in the first two and a half minutes.

Just a few minutes later, sophomore Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.) tied the game up for the Bobcats at two goals apiece.

UConn added four more goals in the first half before Quinnipiac changed goalies from sophomore Samantha Tilts (Port Washington, N.Y.), giving up six goals on seven shots, to freshman Rachel Massicotte (Wayland, Mass.).

“It’s been a little bit of a disappointment early on. Our defense has not been great but even the times where we’ve had some good defensive plays. We need the goalies to step up and make some saves,” Caro said.

From that point on, UConn continued to dominate Quinnipiac in all facets of the game to take a 12-4 lead at halftime.  The Huskies were helped by eight second-half goals compared to only two for Quinnipiac to close out the scoring at 20-6.

Ochwat led the Bobcats offensive attack with two goals and one assist while junior Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) added a goal and an assist.

UConn was led offensively by Kacie Pippitt and Katherine Finkelston who each scored four goals a piece en route to the victory.  Lauren Kahn added two goals and assisted six more while Chelsea Hauswirth scored two goals and had three helpers.

The Huskies had six players score at least two goals in the game.  In goal, Shannon Nee stopped two shots and allowed six goals for UConn while backup Marya Fratoni had 3 saves on five shots.

Tilts gave up seven goals for the second consecutive game, and recorded two saves in the loss.  Massicotte faced 20 shots in the game, recording seven saves and allowing 13 goals.

Despite the early season struggles, Caro said the goalies are remaining positive.

“They’ve had a really good attitude, they’ve stayed positive and they’re not getting down on themselves and taking a bad situation and making it worse, so I’m really happy with how hard they’re working, we just got to get the execution a little higher,” Caro said.

Caro added that it is the field players that have a lot of adjustments to make as well after the 20-6 loss.

“We’re turning the ball over way too much. We’re not communicating as well as we need to on defense and that’s something we’ll be working on over the next week and a half,” Caro said.

Quinnipiac heads on the road for the remaining five games of the non-conference schedule before opening Northeast Conference play at home on March 22 as it hosts Sacred Heart.