Last-second goal by Providence spoils Senior Day for Bobcats


Photo: QBSN

Clever Streich

It was a tough senior day for the Quinnipiac field hockey team (2-6, 2-6 Big East) on Saturday afternoon, as they suffered a close 1-0 loss to Providence (2-6, 2-6 Big East).

Providence’s game-winning goal was scored with a second remaining in regulation, giving the Friars their first win over the Bobcats in the 2021 season.

“I think what the pandemic has taught me is to expect the unexpected,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main said. “It’s unfortunate in the end, we were preparing for overtime, but ten seconds can make the difference in a game. I think it’s unfortunate for my seniors, but I am proud of the way we played. I liked our hockey today.”

Before the game began, a special ceremony was held on the turf to honor seniors Alyssa Watson, Kaylah Igarta and Brooke Whipkey.

“We have three amazing people, their ability to make people feel like they belong has put us in a place where we have a team of players who pushes and pushes,” Main said. “You can call their class ‘the buy-in class’. They’ve taught everybody how to buy in and have done so in a manner that is inclusive while asking for excellence.”

Many friends and family members were in attendance for the event as spectators to congratulate the senior class of 2021 on their accomplishments as Quinnipiac Bobcats.

“It’s been really exciting having my parents come here. I haven’t seen them in a long time, so having them come to this game made it extra special,” Brooke Whipkey said. ”Having this day to recognize our journey has been a great experience. I’ve loved my four years here and being able to do it with Kaylah [Igarta] and Alyssa [Watson] makes it very special.”

In the first quarter, Providence came out of the gates with immediate offensive pressure, drawing two penalty corners and putting three shots on goal in the first fifteen minutes of action.

At first, Quinnipiac struggled to move the ball up field, but were able to hold their own in defensive play.

“They kept high forwards and they moved a lot in the circle, so they were difficult to defend against, but I almost like that better because that keeps us on our toes,” junior defender Amanda Funaro said. “It was very competitive, and we played well as a unit.”

Throughout the second and third quarters, Providence was able to sustain their offensive momentum, leading the Bobcats in shots on goal and penalty corners.

However, freshman Quinnipiac netminder Nina Santore was able to dig deep and come up with several outstanding saves to keep the game scoreless, all while making her team motivated and focused.

“[Santore] is a solid goaltender in the physical sense, but what she has that’s amazing is her ability to talk,” Main said. “Having her back today [after an injury last week] was crucial for us, and she showed her worth many times today.”

Quinnipiac received their best chance to break the tie in the fourth quarter by drawing a late penalty corner but were unable to convert after Providence goalkeeper Asia Porter made a big stop with her pads.

Ultimately, it would be a last-second tally that would give the game to the Friars, as sophomore forward Sophia Pompeo scored her first goal of the season off a feed from Niamh Gowing at 59:59 of the contest, securing the 1-0 victory for Providence with a single second remaining in regulation.

Despite the difficult loss on senior day, the Bobcats remain positive and focused as they get set to face #16 Old Dominion on Friday and Saturday at 3:30 PM.

“Old Dominion is a very good team, and they’ve been ranked this season. We have to shift, as they play a lot different than Providence does,” Main said. “We’re going to try a different approach and come at them fresh with fast legs, but I like the progress we’ve made.”