Quinnipiac Women’s Soccer pulls off messy win against Siena with tournament looming


Riley Millette

A rainy, soggy afternoon is not the ideal way to close out the regular season, but the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s soccer team had no chance but to tough out the conditions in their MAAC tournament dress rehearsal.

The Bobcats were able to peel off a 2-1 victory against the Siena Saints, the same team that knocked them off in the opening round of the MAAC tournament in 2018.

The Bobcats’ potent attack did not slouch in this one, firing off 14 shots in the first half and 22 throughout the course of the game. The Saints struggled to close down the offense for the Bobcats all day, as the Bobcats were gifted a plethora of open shots from within range.

Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke was sure to acknowledge the chances his players are creating and their ability to control the ball, but added that finishing in the final third could improve moving forward.

Although Quinnipiac won the possession battle in the beginning of the first half, Siena sophomore forward Carrie Krohn drew first blood. She floated a shot off the post and in just over the hand of freshman goalkeeper Meagan Phillips to give the Saints a 1-0 advantage in the 20th minute.

Senior forward Ally Grunstein almost immediately rectified the deficit. A cross from the wing found her boot and was saved by senior goalkeeper Taylor Dorado, but Grunstein was able to corral the deflection and roof the shot. The goal was her first of the 2019 season.

“It means a lot,” Grunstein said. “I’ve been getting some assists here and there this season but just to have a goal the last time I’ll be playing on this field means a lot.”

The 31st minute was easily the best chance for the Bobcats in the game. The whole front three of the Bobcats were away, and Grunstein was charging down the wind with acres of green in front of her. However, her pass to sophomore midfielder Selena Salas was just behind her and she couldn’t come down with it, leading to disappointment on a golden opportunity.

Nonetheless, Salas cashed in during the 36th minute, with Dani Zerbo tallying the assist on a low cross into the box. Once again, a Bobcat was left unmarked at the top of the box, and Salas had more than enough space to poke it into the lower left corner to give the Bobcats the 2-1 edge.

The first half ended on several controversial calls by head referee Michael Ziegler, from Quinnipiac handballs to Siena corner kicks. Ziegler elected not to reach for the whistle on two occasions in which a call would have resulted in a Bobcat penalty. Quinnipiac assistant coach Steve Coxon made his thoughts well-known on the sideline amid protests from Bobcat players and spectators, but to no avail, as the half ended with Quinnipiac leading 2-1.

The Bobcats started the second half by moving Phillips to the bench and inserting senior keeper Olivia Myszewski between the sticks. Phillips has been a force for Quinnipiac in her debut season, accruing six clean sheets and allowing less than one goal per game. Still, Clarke felt he owed it to his senior player to give her some minutes in the final home game of her regular season career.

“She’s earned that right,” Clarke said. “She made some good saves and it’s a good way for her to close out her career at home.”

Momentum stuck slightly in favor of the Saints during the second half, but little happened. The final whistle sounded and Quinnipiac secured the 2-1 victory.

The fifth-seeded Bobcats play their first tournament clash on the road against the fourth-place team, either the Marist Red Foxes or the Rider Broncs, on Nov. 3.