DOVER, Del. – The Quinnipiac women's soccer team picked up its second consecutive win to open the 2015 season with an impressive 2-0 victory off two goals late in the second half to defeat the Delaware State University Hornets at Alumni Field Friday night.
"I'm happy for the players because they've had to work hard. Neither game was easy and they actually earned the win on the field, it was a team effort," Quinnipiac women's soccer coach Dave Clarke said. "Tonight, we drive down, it was a very physical game on a tough surface so what we said to the players at the end was that it was a character defining win. We found a way to win it as opposed to a way to lose it."
Nadya Gill (Toronto, Ontario) scored the game-winning goal with just over 17 minutes remaining in regulation while Jessica Jankowski (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey) added an insurance goal for the second of her career with just under nine minutes in the second half.
Gill is the first Bobcat freshman to record two game-winning goals since Jess Fontaine (Enfield, Connecticut) in the 2013 season. Gill is also the first freshman since Furtuna Velaj in the 2008 season to record at least two goals in her first two career games as a Bobcat.
"When you bring in a player like Nadya that's what the expectation is, I mean you look at some of our teams at Quinnipiac, when they bring in a tough player you have to expect that they'll deliver and she's done that in the first couple of games," Clarke said. "It's going to get harder for her because, even tonight they picked her up man for man everywhere she went so she handled it well. She scored and didn't let the miss she had effect her game, and the finish that she did score on was an incredulous goal, so to get open and to head the rebound in, credit to her."
Quinnipiac's defense shut down the Delaware St. offensive attack as senior goalkeeper Natalia Grodzki (Bartlett, Illinois) recorded two saves in her eighth career win and her fifth career shutout. The Hornets managed just four shots overall and two on goal.
The Bobcats are off to their best start since the 2012 season when they started the season 3-0 on their way to a 9-6-1 season in their final year in the Northeast Conference. Quinnipiac's road victory was its first away from the QU Soccer Field since Sept. 21, 2013 when they defeated Saint Peter's 3-0 and first non-conference road victory since Sept. 2, 2012 when they knocked off the Holy Cross Crusaders 1-0.
Quinnipiac's offense came alive once again, recording 14 shots for the second consecutive game and putting five of them on goal.
Quinnipiac and Delaware St. played to a draw in the first half due to heroics from Grodzki in goal for the Bobcats. With just over 25 minutes remaining in the first half, the Bobcats were whistled for a hand ball in the box. Danielle Valente lined up for the penalty kick but Grodzki dove low to her left to make the save to preserve the 0-0 tie.
In the second half, Grodzki continued to impress in the box as she picked off a cross from Valente destined for a Delaware St. forward's head to keep the Bobcats and Hornets deadlocked at 0-0.
The Bobcats finally broke through with 17:03 remaining in the second half as the Bobcats turned up the offensive pressure as Fontaine crossed the ball from the right flank to Jess Gargan (Dublin, Ireland) who ripped a shot off the crossbar. Gill was positioned perfectly to put home the rebound for her second career goal in as many games.
Jankowski provided the Bobcats with an insurance goal 10 minutes later off a set piece from just outside the box off a foul by Delaware St. Jess Cascio (Hebron, Connecticut) lined up the free kick and it was controlled by Jankowski at the top of the six yard box before she tucked home the pass to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
The Quinnipiac women's soccer team has a week off before returning to action at the TD Bank Classic at Virtue Field in Burlington, Vermont where the Bobcats will face the New Hampshire Wildcats at 1:30 P.M. on Friday, Sept. 4 and then face the Vermont Catamounts at 1:30 P.M. on Sunday, Sept. 6.