Quinnipiac clinches MAAC regular season title with 3-0 victory over Mount St. Mary’s

Zack Hochberg

The Quinnipiac women’s soccer used a dominant second-half effort to clinch the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAAC tournament after they beat Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday evening.

The Bobcats controlled the possession for most of the first half but the Mountaineer’s defense was impressive, holding the Bobcats, who love to score early and often, scoreless in the first frame.

Mountaineer defender Amani Green picked up a yellow card in the 15th minute after a rough tackle. Following the game, Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said Green was one of the players the Bobcats were looking to target.  

Junior forwards Courtney Chochol and Rebecca Cooke both had opportunities to put the Bobcats in the lead midway through the half. Chochol’s chance was denied by junior goalkeeper Arden Lembryk as Cooke’s header sailed over the top of the crossbar. 

Sitting just outside of the MAAC tournament heading into the match, Mount St. Mary’s was desperately in need of a victory, and their first-half effort was on par with that desperation.

While the first half was a back-and-forth battle, the Bobcats completely took control in the second half. 

Senior midfielder Olivia Scott broke the tie less than a minute into the second frame, as a corner kick from senior midfielder Markela Bejleri got loose inside the box and Scott was able to put it past Lembryk for a 1-0 Quinnipiac lead and extended her scoring streak to three games. 

Ten minutes later, Olivia Scott and Quinnipiac struck again. Scott got a pass from senior midfielder Markela Bejleri and fired it past the reach of Lembryk for a 2-0 Bobcat advantage and her second goal of the game. 

Quinnipiac put the nail in the coffin in the 59th minute, taking a 3-0 advantage when Rebecca Cooke put the ball in the box, and then it ricocheted off a defender which allowed senior forward Paige LaBerge to tap in for her fourth goal of the season.

“We were playing for 1-0, the second and third goals were the killers,” Clarke said. 

With a comfortable Bobcats lead, Quinnipiac finished the final minutes of their regular season with a pitch filled with all seniors as they clinched their first-ever regular season MAAC title. 

“81 days ago we put three goals on the board, today we accomplished two of them… No. 1 seed in the MAAC, six shutouts, and everyone has the third goal in common (winning the conference tournament),” Clake said.

While she did not score today, Rebecca Cooke’s impact was profound. Cooke created numerous opportunities for her teammates in over 80 minutes of action and finished her regular season with 19 goals, which was the most in the country. 

With the top overall seed in the playoffs, the MAAC tournament will go through Hamden, CT. The Bobcats will play in the semi-final matchup against the lowest remaining seed on Nov. 3.