Field Hockey Opens NEC Play With 2-0 Win Against Sacred Heart
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Quinnipiac goalkeeper Nicole Lewis (East Hamherst, N.Y.) recorded her fifth career shutout to lead the Bobcats to a 2-0 win against Sacred Heart in its first Northeast Conference game of the season. The Bobcats open the year at 1-0 in NEC play while they also improve to 8-4 on the season. Sacred Heart drops to 5-6 overall and 0-1 in the NEC.
"We worked hard today to adjust to a different surface and also to step up and match the intensity of our opponent," head coach Becca Main said. "Whie we cannot rest on our laurels, I am very proud of this team and their ability to stay on each game plan and string together four wins in a row."
Lewis stopped three shots in the first period, but came through down the stretch with nine saves over the game's final 35 minutes. She improves to 7-3-0 on the season, while also picking up her 25th career win.
"Our team has been really excited to start conference play and we have been working extremely hard this past week to make sure we could keep our momentum going," Lewis said. "We felt this was a good showing for our first game and it felt great to come away with a win."
Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.) scored the game's first goal while also assisting on another. Jennalise Taylor (Yardley, Pa.) scored her seventh goal of the season, tying her with Rusin for the team lead. Lauren Zimniski (Dallas, Pa.) and Danielle Allen (Riverdale, N.J.) both had assists for Quinnipiac.
"Kristin Engleke, Lauren Zimniski, Cate Colucci and Nicole Lewis were tremendous," Main added. "They proved why experience is necessary to win conference games."
Rusin's goal came just under the 19-minute mark on a pass from Zimniski. The goal was Rusin's team-leading seventh of the season. Rusin also has six assists to her credit, giving her 20 points for the season. Rusin is now the 16th player in Quinnipiac history to reach 20 points in a season, and the eighth player in program history to reach 50 points. With 51 career points, she moves past Kaitlyn Notarianni '11 for the eighth spot in career points. She trails Kristin McCarthy '05 for seventh place with 54 points.
In the 32nd minute, Taylor scored her seventh goal of the year, snapping a four-game scoreless streak. Allan fed the ball to Rusin, who drove on goal from the top of the circle before sending a pass over to Taylor who converted on her attempt.
Quinnipiac will host a pair of NEC opponents at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Turf Complex next weekend when Monmouth visits on Friday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. before Rider comes to town on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m.