LOWELL, Massachusetts – The Quinnipiac field hockey was dealt a 2-1 loss at the hands of UMass Lowell in the opening game of the 2015 season from the Wicked Blue Field.
These two evenly matched sides have now gone two consecutive years in which the end result has been decided by one goal, with UMass Lowell winning both contests.
Shots favored the home side throughout, as the River Hawks finished with the 18-10 edge on total shots, but the two-time reigning MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Megan Conaboy (Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania) was steady throughout. The senior goalkeeper made eight saves total, including six in the second half to keep her team in the game but towards the end, where the Bobcats needed a goal, UMass Lowell controlled possession before time eventually whittled away.
Felicia Costanzo (Lakeland, New York) was the lone goal scorer on the afternoon for Quinnipiac as the sophomore forward tallied the first goal of her young career.
Much like last year's matchup in Hamden, the River Hawks took the early lead, only to see Quinnipiac respond with the equalizer soon after. UMass Lowell opened with an early corner less than one minute into the game and converted as Torrie Huk deflected in a Christa Doiron shot from the top of the circle. With the height and speed of the initial shot, Conaboy stood no chance as Huk's deflection went lower left of the cage while Conaboy was set up for the shot in the upper right.
Trailing early, Quinnipiac settled in and would eventually break through with a perfectly executed Costanzo backhander that equalized the score at 1-1. Selina Reichert (Lower Hutt, New Zealand) started the play at midfield as she carried the ball into the circle. As UMass Lowell deflected the ball away, Costanzo was right on the spot as she one-touched the ball to her backhand. With the goalkeeper coming out to challenge, Costanzo alertly chipped a shot on her backhand up and over the keeper and eventually in as her first career goal tied the score.
As the second half started, Quinnipiac had several opportunities early as the ball found its way deep in the River Hawk defensive circle but shots were hard to come by as the UMass Lowell defenders recovered in time to give no shooting lanes for the Bobcat forwards.
Conaboy stood tall to keep the game tied as she was left one-on-one with a River Hawk forward on a breakaway but the task was not too large for the Quinnipiac keeper as she dove right and knocked the ball loose before Haley Swartz (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) recovered to force a corner.
Possession continued to favor UMass Lowell and so did the shots as the River Hawks outshot the Bobcats, 10-3, throughout the second half. Over time, the pressure got to the Bobcat defense as Georgia Cowderoy was left open at the top of the circle. Sophie Watt turned and found her with the pass and the blast found the back of the cage for the game-winner.
Quinnipiac will turn their attention now to Sunday's game as the Bobcats look to rebound with a big showdown against No. 13 nationally-ranked Boston College from Newton, Mass. The game is set to begin at 3:00 PM from the Newton Campus Field Hockey Field.
Contact: Maxx McNall; firstname.lastname@example.org