Rusin Scores Twice To Lead Field Hockey Past Columbia, 3-1

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sophomore Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.) scored twice to lead the Quinnipiac field hockey team to a 3-1 win against Columbia in New York, N.Y. The Bobcats have now won three games in a row to improve to 6-2 on the season. Columbia drops to 2-4 on the season with the loss. The Bobcats' six non-conference wins this season ties Quinnipiac's Division I record for victories against teams outside of the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats won six non-conference games in 2003.

"This was an exceptional win for us, because we were dealing with some major injuries and health issues from many players," head coach Becca Main Kohli said. "I was pleased, once again, with the way we responded when Columbia started to take over the pace of the game."

Rusin has now scored in back-to-back games, making her the third player in the Bobcats' line-up to do so. The second-year forward is having a career year with seven goals and an assist for 15 points on the season. Rusin also had a hat trick in a 6-0 win against Colgate on Sept. 9.

"Going into the game, we knew it was going to be competitive," Rusin said. "Even with one of our starters injured, we stayed strong as a unit and came through for each other to do our job."

Kaitlyn Notarianni (Clarks Summit, Pa.) had a goal and an assist in the win. Notarianni's goal was her fourth of the season, second to Rusin and Kimberly Cunnif's (Walpole, Mass.) seven. Notarianni's assist is her fifth of the year, a career-best and second to active assist leader Megan McCreedy (White River, South Africa).  

"Jess Rusin was, again, on par with her stick-work and she combined very well with Katie Notarianni," Main Kohli said. "We also made huge strides with our defense and it was superbly anchored by Nicole Lewis and Ashley Gradwell."

In goal, Nicole Lewis (East Amherst, N.Y.) stopped 14 of Columbia's 15 shots on goal for her third double-digit save outing of the season. Lewis entered the game among the NCAA Division I leaders in save percentage and goals-against-average. She improves to 6-2-0 on the year with a .756 save percentage and a 3.36 GAA. 

Columbia took an early lead when Paige Simmons scored at the 2:44 mark. Rusin answered with the game-tying goal at the 20:55 mark, before giving the Bobcats the lead in the 53rd minute of play. Notarianni added the insurance goal to give Quinnipiac a two-goal edge with a little more than five minutes to play in the game. 

"Sunday is a big game against a Top 15 program in Maine," Main Kohli explained. "We are looking forward to finding a way to beat them."

The Bobcats host Maine on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. 

Contact: Ken Sweeten (kfsweeten@quinnipiac.edu)