Rebecca Cooke shines as Quinnipiac Women’s Soccer dominates Siena

Zack Hochberg

The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team dominated Siena 7-1 at home on Wednesday behind a superstar performance from junior forward Rebecca Cooke, who scored four goals in the match. 

The Bobcats attacked early and often their first opportunity to get on the scoreboard came just nine seconds into the match when junior forward Courtney Chochol took a shot at the Siena goal but was denied by Siena junior goalkeeper Angela Fini. 

Quinnipiac went on to create three more shots on goal in the first two minutes before breaking through in the eighth minute as Markela Bejleri’s shot was in the hands of Fini but as she dropped to the ground, the ball fell out and trickled into the goal for a 1-0 Quinnipiac lead. 

Just a minute later, Quinnipiac scored again when Cooke faked out Fini to the right side before she powered it into the goal past Fini to the left for the Bobcats to lead by a pair. 

The Bobcats weren’t done. In the 14th minute Chochol tracked down a through ball on the right side of the pitch before finding Cooke in the middle of the box, turned and fired a shot that tipped off of Fini’s hands for her second goal of the game. 

“She’s always in the right place when I look up,” Chochol said. “I just know that if I give it to her she’s probably going to score.” 

Cooke completed the hat-trick less than a minute later, scoring her third goal in 15 minutes to push the Quinnipiac lead to 4-0 and put the nail in the coffin for this match. 

Sophomore midfielder Ella Gagno kept the Quinnipiac offensive attack going when she lofted a shot over Fini’s outstretched reach to make the Bobcat lead five in the 30th minute.

The Quinnipiac offense was just too much for Siena to handle as the Bobcats completely dominated possession in the first half, culminating 21 shots. 

If the Bobcats put the nail in the coffin in the first half, they buried the coffin in the second half. 

Cooke scored her fourth goal of the game just three minutes into the second frame, chipping a breakaway shot over the goalkeeper’s reach to make Quinnipiac’s lead six. 

Cooke’s four goals were the second most in a single game in Quinnipiac history, trailing only Furtuna Velaj, who scored five goals in a game during the 2008 season.

Quinnipiac saved its best goal for last as its final goal of the game came from senior defender Kayla Mingachos, who hit a screamer from around 30 yards out.

Siena finally erased the clean sheet in the 68th minute, making it 7-1 as senior midfielder Caitlin Wania got the ball inside the box and found a hole to push it past Quinnipiac senior goalkeeper Meaghan Phillips. 

Due to the large lead, Quinnipiac was able to substitute most of its main players off after the 70th minute.

“If those players are playing every minute, that cumulative load comes back to bite you when you need them the most,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “In certain games when we can get them off, we should give them a breather.”

The Bobcats improved to 7-1-1 on the season and 3-0 in MAAC play with the victory. 

Quinnipiac will travel to Fairfield for a showdown against the Stags on Oct. 1.