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HAMDEN, Conn. – Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.) dished out a game-high six assists and Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.) had five goals as the Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team kept its playoff hopes alive with a 16-15 win over Robert Morris Friday afternoon at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. The Bobcats improve to 4-4 on the season but still need a win on Sunday and help around the league for a chance in the NEC Tournament.
Quinnipiac, now 6-9 overall, moved into a two-way tie with Robert Morris for fifth place in the standings, but needs some help from Monmouth or Mount St. Mary's this weekend. With two Bryant losses and a Bobcat win over Saint Francis University on Sunday, Quinnipiac would jump into the fourth and final playoff spot next weekend.
"RMU is a good team and today's game was exciting," said head coach Danie Caro. "I am very proud of the team for staying composed and poised in the last five minutes to allow us to seal the win."
Nonetheless though, Quinnipiac needed a win over RMU and earned the triumph with a solid all-around effort. Allen paced the offense with eight points on six assists and two goals, while Ochwat tallied six points on five goals and an assist. Allen extended her streak of multiple points in a game to nine straight, with Ochwat scoring at least two goals in seven straight. Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) added four goals and five others scored once.
"Kyra and Sarah both played great, despite having RMU's best defenders on them," said Caro. "They showed why they are two of the best attackers in the NEC."
Quinnipiac pulled away quickly after the initial whistle, as the home team rattled off seven of the game's first eight goals. Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) opened the scoring summary just 61 seconds into the game, and Ochwat cashed in nearly two minutes later for a 2-0 advantage. RMU got on the board next, but a run of five straight goals put Quinnipiac in front, 7-1, with just under 13 minutes remaining in the half.
Robert Morris fended off the surge though, stringing together five straight goals to cut into the deficit. Each team scored once before the halftime whistle sounded, leaving an 8-7 advantage for the Bobcats at the break. Phoebe Laplante's (New Bedford, Mass.) tally with 3:50 remaining stopped the streak of five straight for the Colonials.
After the break, Quinnipiac put together another quick start which was ignited by back-to-back goals from Ochwat. Maria Blois (Cheshire, Conn.) tacked on one more for an 11-7 lead with 22:58 to go, and the teams would virtually exchange goals for the next 14 minutes. Quinnipiac garnered its largest lead of the game (five) when Ochwat and Tinsley scored consecutive goals – with Tinsley's tally coming with 8:03 on the clock.
Robert Morris put together a late push of four straight goals in the closing minutes, but Quinnipiac's experienced group kept its composure and disallowed the Colonials to tie the score. The Bobcats possessed the ball for the final five minutes of play to run out the clock and eliminate Robert Morris from playoff contention.
"We really struggled on the draw today and gave RMU too many possessions, which cost us," said Caro. "I'm glad we finally got one on the last draw of the game, which allowed us to hold possession for the win."
Sophomore Samantha Tilts (Port Washington, N.Y.) collected 13 saves between the posts for the Bobcats while her counterpart, Kaitlin Pentz picked up 11. The Bobcats defense stood strong as they gathered a 13-9 advantage for turnovers against the Colonials. Quinnipiac also collected the 21-10 advantage in groundballs, however the Bobcats fell short as they were unable to control the circle as RMU garnered a 27-5 advantage.
"We need to make some adjustments and come out strong on Sunday," said Caro.
The Bobcats will continue NEC action on Sunday afternoon as they take the field against the Red Flash of Saint Francis. Opening draw is set for 12 p.m. on the QU Lacrosse field. Prior to the start of the game the Quinnipiac Athletics Department will honor five of the teams graduating seniors.
Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2013 Quinnipiac Women's Lacrosse Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.