HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac freshman Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.) scored twice to lead the Quinnipiac University field hockey team to a 3-1 win against Sacred Heart University in a Northeast Conference match-up in Fairfield, Conn. Quinnipiac improves to 5-6 overall while they open Northeast Conference play at 1-0. Sacred Heart goes to 1-9 overall and 0-1 in NEC competition.
"It's not very often that you put together a game plan, the team not only executes it but takes it step further - and that's what happened today," head coach Becca Kohli said. "They were aggressively poised, and that's what you want your team to be. They handled the pressure of their first conference game as a young squad, and really played beyond their years. Our first year players today really made all the difference in playing on field turf and against one of our rivals.
Russin's two goals are a career-best and give Quinnipiac its third straight game in which a player scored twice in a win. Russin, who has seen action in every game for Quinnipiac in her first season, now has two goals and an assist for the year.
Kristen Engelke (Medford, N.J.) scored her fourth goal of the year, while Kaitlyn Notarriani (Clark Summit, Pa.) and Kim Cunniff (Walpole, Mass.), Quinnipiac's top-two goal scorers, each had an assist in the win. In goal, Nicole Lewis (East Amherst, N.Y.) saw just two shots on the afternoon, stopping one.
"We came to win," Russin said. "The thrill of our first NEC game prompted the hunger that each athlete brought to the field, leading us to victory."
Sacred Heart's Alex Meljillo scored just under twelve minutes into the game at the 11:56 mark when she received a pass from Dana Luhrs and one-timed a shot past Lewis to give the Pioneers an early, 1-0 lead. Engelke's fourth goal of the year came off a rebound that she picked up in front of the Sacred Heart goal and deposited in the cage to tie the game at 1-1.
Russin came off the bench to scored twice in what proved to be the difference in the Bobcats' conference win. Her first goal came at the 39:56 mark when she received a pass from Notarianni in the circle, spun and blasted a shot on goal to give Quinnipiac a one-goal lead. She increased Quinnipiac's lead to two goals when Cunniff collected a ball off a rebound and dished to Russin for the goal.
The Bobcats' dominated play for much of the game, outshooting the Pioneers, 23-4, while also picking up 10 corners to Sacred Heart's three.
The Bobcats return to action on Friday, Oct. 15 when they host Rider at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field in Hamden, Conn. at 3;30 p.m.