Women’s Soccer Falls 1-0 to Harvard

Will Fowler

Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

In a game that saw 24 combined shots, it was the one off the boot of Sophie Hirst in the 53rd minute that made the difference as the Harvard Crimson (2-2-0, 0-0-0 Ivy League) kept a clean sheet against the Quinnipiac Bobcats (1-4-0, 0-0-0 MAAC) in a 1-0 win.

The Bobcats continued their dangerous non-conference slate of games on Sunday when the Harvard Crimson came to Hamden. Despite recording five shots and generating a number of chances inside the final third, they were once again held goalless.

“There were a lot of positives from this game, I think we deserved to score, but we were unlucky on a few occasions,” said head coach Dave Clarke. “That’s [about] the level of opposition.”

Harvard, ranked second in the region, was just another opponent on the laundry list of top-caliber teams the Bobcats have found themselves sharing the pitch with in the early goings. Quinnipiac hasn’t exactly fared well against those teams, either – after today’s game, they’ve gone 293 minutes without finding the back of the net. Clarke, however, says there’s no reason for concern.

“We’ve played five of the top six in the region. We knew there was always a chance that we could be 1-4. We were hoping to test ourselves… Harvard are No. 2, [Boston College] are No. 1, Providence are No. 3 now, so we’re playing [some] of the best teams in our region. We’ve got to look at it in that context,” explained Clarke.

Though unable to put a goal on the board, the game was not without chances for Quinnipiac. Their best chance came in the 34th minute, when Al Pelletier picked out Madison Borowiec off a corner. Borowiec took a touch and rifled a shot at the goal – the ball, however, only met woodwork.

Pelletier was a key player for the Bobcats, as the winger made run after run down the right flank in attempts to pick out Boroweic, Ally Grunstein, and Lauren Triglione in the middle.

“In the first half, Ally Grunstein played well… Al Pelletier, great buildup on that play in the first half where Maddie [Borowiec] slides in at the back post,” lauded Clarke. “Prior to [the goal], I thought it was quite a good game.”

The goal that separated the sides for good came just seven minutes after halftime, when Harvard midfielder Sophie Hirst latched onto the end of a pass in the box, took a touch, and launched a shot into the top left past a diving Olivia Myszewski.

“We got caught on the counter… we tried to force a pass and it got picked off and then everyone is like dominoes,” said Clarke. “We talk about where we want to concede possession and we did it in a dangerous area instead of just sliding it down the line.”

Quinnipiac found few chances on the attack after going behind and were unable to find an equalizer, suffering their third consecutive loss.

The Bobcats now have just two games remaining before MAAC conference play begins, and their next test will be a pleasant sight – the 0-3-2 UMass Lowell RiverHawks, who have had their own plethora of troubles on the young season. That game is set to kick off on Thursday, September 6 at 7 P.M. in Lowell.