Quinnipiac Field Hockey drops first Big East game vs. UConn 5-0

Matt Vulpis

Photos: Emma Robertson

The Quinnipiac Field Hockey team (1-5, 0-1 Big East) faced a tough challenge with the No. 4 University of Connecticut Huskies (6-1, 1-0 Big East) coming to town on Friday, but the Bobcats could not pull off the upset. The Huskies won 5-0, thanks in large part to a pair of two-goal efforts from Sophie Hamilton and Svea Boker.

The Huskies came out strong, taking 12 shots in the first quarter (eight of which were on net), including Hamilton’s first goal. Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main credited UConn’s solid start to their incredible star power.

“When you play someone of this speed and this caliber, where 11 of the players on the team, eight or nine are national All-Americans, you don’t really know what is going to hit you” Main said. “I think our first quarter we didn’t adjust, especially our younger players. That was a hard sell for us in the first quarter.”

The Huskies extended their lead in the second quarter when Maddie Wray found the back of the net. Then, it was Svea Boker’s turn to strike. The senior forward potted two goals before halftime, making it 4-0 Huskies at the half.

UConn added one more tally for reassurance early in the third on Hamilton’s second goal of the day. Sophomore Abby Gooderham also notched a pair of assists, extending her team lead in points from 10 to 12.

Freshman goaltender Hedda Biermann-Ratjen stood tall in net for Quinnipiac after the early bombardment, making 10 saves on 15 shots. She made seven of those saves in the first quarter alone, before the Bobcats’ defense bailed her out by only allowing three shots on goal in the entire second half.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, managed four shots on net during the contest, three of which came from graduate student midfielder Bianka Strubbe, pushing her team-leading total to 15 on the year so far. Quinnipiac was also called for a total of 14 penalty corners, eight more than UConn, during the match.

Photos: Emma Robertson

“We tried to play some stall hockey today and spent a lot of the week stalling against one of the top teams in the country,” Main said. “The stall, for us, took a while to get it going and then we did a nice job. We didn’t want to concede in the middle at the top of the circle, which we didn’t.”

It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Bobcats, as they prepare to welcome the University of Vermont Catamounts to Hamden on Sunday for one of only four home non-conference games left. Moving forward after such a tough loss to a team that is both an in-state and in-conference rival may seem hard, but Biermann-Ratjen says that the Bobcats will not dwell on the past before their next match.

“First of all, living in the moment, like our coaches always tell us to, and then just going away from the game, taking a deep breath,” said Biermann-Ratjen.

“You know yourself best and you know what you need to do in order to prepare.”