NEWTON, Massachusetts – The Quinnipiac field hockey squad dropped a 4-0 decision at the hands of No. 13 nationally-ranked Boston College on Sunday afternoon from the Newtown Field Hockey Field. The Bobcats fall to 0-2 on the season, while the Eagles improve to 2-0.
A committed, all-around united effort from the Bobcats' defenders all the way up to the forward line translated in a strong showing against the Eagles of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Quinnipiac's press defense bothered the Boston College back line throughout and the unified effort came in support of a first-time starter in goal.
The star on the day for Quinnipiac was none other than freshman goalkeeper Bianca Porcaro (Easton, Connecticut), who stepped in and posted eight saves in her first career start. Attempting to mirror the greatness of the two-time MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, Porcaro did her best Megan Conaboy (Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania) impression and made several brilliant stops against one of the upper-echelon teams in the nation.
"We knew as a unit that we were going to be working with younger personnel," said the Bobcats' veteran center back Megan Osanitsch (Harwinton, Connecticut). "After emphasizing strong, aggressive defense this past week in practice in preparation for such a strong team and the upcoming schedule, we were able to truly exhibit that we are a team that won't back down from a challenge. This is a great turning point for us coming out of preseason and it provides a good base for the team to build upon."
Both sophomore classmates Michelle Federico (Cheshire, Connecticut) and Dayna Barlow (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) were heavily active on the attack through, each finishing with at least two shots apiece as well as one prime scoring opportunity. Junior Angie King (South Windsor, Connecticut) was the statistical star of the defense as she added her first defensive save of 2015 after ranking Top 10 in the nation last season.
"We came in as a team with a set game plan and we executed really well," said Quinnipiac senior forward Savanna Reilly (Hamden, Connecticut). "Up on the forward line, we communicated well, held a strong formation and really worked well together. The next step in our progression is finishing and we'll continue to work in practice on putting goals in the net."
The score remained 0-0 for nearly 21 minutes thanks in large part to a stellar save on a BC breakaway from the rookie goalkeeper Porcaro. Lucy Lytle broke loose above the Bobcats' defensive circle and came in on Porcaro on a two-on-none breakaway. With Porcaro coming out to challenge, Lytle set up a forehanded blast but Porcaro read the shot correctly and made a lunging stick save.
Before the halftime buzzer, the Eagles did breakthrough with two goals to take the 2-0 lead. The first goal of the game again came following a tremendous effort from Porcaro as she made two straight difficult stops to either direction but the second rebound attempt from Elizabeth Dennehy trickled through for the BC goal.
Still in the first half, Quinnipiac mustered their best scoring chance of the game as the Bobcats' press caused another BC turnover along the back line. With the ball on the left wing, Reilly stickhandled and put a solid shot-on-goal. As the Eagle goalkeeper was still flat on the ground trying to recover, the ball came to Barlow in the middle who was looking at a wide open net. The sophomore midfielder corralled the ball and fired a shot but the goalkeeper's quick recovery forced Barlow's shot wide of the cage.
Boston College struck for two more goals in the second stanza but the Bobcats again, led by a cohesive unit, made it difficult for the Eagles. Quinnipiac and Boston College were even in penalty corners, 2-2, in the second half and Porcaro matched her first half brilliant (four saves) with four more stops in the final 35 minutes of play.
Even though the final result mimicked the 3-0 loss to the Eagles in Hamden from a year ago, the pace of play told a much different story. Last year's shot total (BC 26, QU 4) evened out considerably on Sunday (BC 19, QU 9) while the biggest change from a year ago in the stats came in penalty corners as the Bobcats limited the Eagles to four on the afternoon in Newtown compared to 11 last season in Hamden.
Another national power looms for Quinnipiac as the Bobcats head to Storrs to take on the two-time defending NCAA Champion UConn Huskies. Friday's matchup, in what will be UConn's 2015 home opener, is set to begin at 6 PM.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com