HAMDEN, Conn. – Freshman Devin Kelly (Miller Place, N.Y.) scored the game winning goal with two minutes remaining to propel the Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team to its first victory of the season and their first win as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Bobcats overcame a 10-6 second half deficit and scored two goals in the last five minutes as they defeated the Manhattan Jaspers, 12-11, at the Quinnipiac Lacrosse Field in Hamden. With the victory Quinnipiac moves to 1-0 in conference play while Manhattan falls to 0-1 in the MAAC and 2-7 overall.
"Today was a gutsy effort, and we're really happy to get our first MAAC win. Manhattan is a tough team and they played with a lot of confidence. I think we matched their intensity and effort for most of the game, but were able to up the execution level late and make plays when it counted," said Head Coach Danie Caro.
"Vicki (Kuhn) was outstanding on defense for us today. She played great one on one defense, and really showed some maturity by playing with confidence and being a disruptive force whenever Manhattan had the ball. I thought our entire defensive unit really stepped up in the second half when they put the brakes on holding the Jaspers to only one goal down the stretch which allowed us to make the comeback," said Caro.
"Emily Samuelman and Kelsey Maroney were very solid and really made some big-time plays for us late in the game. A lot of what they do doesn't always show up in the box score, but if you know the game, you can see how valuable they are to our defensive efforts," stated Caro.
Senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario.) made her first collegiate start as a women's lacrosse player and set a new career high with four highlight reel goals for the Bobcats. "Kelly has continued to impress us. She is very good at creating scoring opportunities and she's working hard to earn the trust of her teammates. She clearly has a nose for the goal and sees the field really well. We expect her to continue to improve as she gets more comfortable in our system," said Caro.
Junior Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.) chipped in with four goals and two assists including the game tying goal with just under six minutes remaining. "Kyra had another solid outing for us today. She drew a double team almost every time she touched the ball, but kept her composure and was very effective," said Caro.
Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) tallied a goal and an assist while Kearney Sneath (Branford, Conn.) added a goal and two assists. "I thought Kearney had one of the best games of her career today. Not only did she put points on the board, but she did all the little things we've asked her to do like cutting in transition, working hard in the re-defend, and making smart decisions to value our possessions," said Caro.
Briana Fountain (Marshfield, Mass.) scored her first goal of the season and the sixth in her career to round out the scoring for Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats got on the board early in the first half as Fountain gave Quinnipiac the early 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game. Fountain was followed by Babstock and Sneath who each scored a goal within the first five minutes of the game. Manhattan would get into the game however scoring two goals in the next two minutes cutting the Quinnipiac lead to one. After an Ochwat goal to make it 4-2 the Jaspers scored three straight goals over the next eight minutes to take their first lead of the game, 5-4.
Ochwat was awarded the free position just 39 seconds after the Manhattan goal and would connect on her free position shot to tie the score at 5. After a Babstock goal made it 6-5 Quinnipiac with 12 minutes remaining in the half the Jaspers closed the half scoring three straight goals and headed into halftime with an 8-6 lead.
Both teams played evenly in the first half with each team making eight turnovers. Manhattan held advantages in draw controls (10-5) and shots (17-16). Quinnipiac held a 6-4 ground balls advantage. Manhattan was 7-for-8 on clears and 4-for-5 on free position shots in the first half while Quinnipiac was 6-of-7 on clears and 1-for-5 on free position shots.
The Jaspers picked up where they left off at the end of the first half by scoring two goals in the first two minutes of the second half. Babstock cut the Jasper lead in half as she scored back to back goals to make it 10-8 Manhattan with 22 minutes left.
With 15 minutes left Ochwat brought the Bobcats within one goal and assisted to Tinsley for the game tying goal with under eight minutes left to play. Manhattan regained the lead with six minutes and four seconds left, but would only hold the lead for 12 seconds as Ochwat knotted the game at 11 with five minutes left.
With just over two minutes remaining Devin Kelly took the ball behind the net and made an acrobatic play to get to the side of the net and made a jumping shot that would give Quinnipiac the lead for good. Samantha Tilts (Port Washington, N.Y.) made a big save with 1:51 remaining as the Bobcats ran out the clock earning their first conference victory as a member of the MAAC.
Quinnipiac returns to action against a familiar opponent on Wednesday, Apr. 2nd. The Bobcats will take on the Monmouth Hawks in West Long Branch, N.J. at 3 PM. "I'm very proud of how we competed today, and we're looking forward to a couple of good practices before we head down to Jersey to face Monmouth on Wednesday," stated Caro.
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