WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – With a 4-2 win at Monmouth, the Quinnipiac field hockey team clinched a berth in the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. The Bobcats improve to 3-1 in MAAC play and 10-6 overall while previously unbeaten Monmouth drops to 3-1 in conference action and 6-10 overall.
"It is a testament to our team's ability to focus, compete and stay present to be able to say we are heading to the tournament with a third of the regular season still to play," head coach Becca Main said. "I cannot compliment my captains enough. Jennalise [Taylor], Jess [Rusin] and Christa [Romano] have done a fantastic job knowing the pulse of the team and guiding them appropriately. We are honored to be able to compete in the first-ever MAAC championships."
Senior Jennalise Taylor (Yardley, Pa.) scored twice for the Bobcats while Savanna Reilly (Hamden, Conn.) scored her first career goal. Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.) added her team-leading 13th goal of the season, while assist-leader Amanda Danziger (Smithtown, N.Y.) added No. 8 and 9 of the year in the win. Christa Romano (Madison, N.J.) and Danielle Allan (Riverdale, N.J.) also added assists for Quinnipiac.
In goal, three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week Megan Conaboy (Clarks Summit, Pa.) stopped two of Monmouth's four shots on goal for her 10th win of the season. Senior Cate Colucci (Gloucester, R.I.) recorder her team- and MAAC-leading sixth defensive save of the season.
All four of Quinnipiac's goals came off corners, including the Bobcats' first two tallies in the game's first 10 minutes. Taylor put Quinnipiac on the board at the 6:11 mark, with assists credited to stick-stop Danziger and inserter Romano. In the 10th minute, Rusin scored her career-best 13th goal of the year with Allan getting the helper, her fifth of the year.
Monmouth's Trish O'Dwyer scored with 11 minutes to play in the first half to trim Quinnipiac's lead to one goal heading into intermission. Four minutes into the second half, it was Taylor again off a corner, with Danziger picking up her second assist on Taylor's eighth goal of the year. O'Dwyer answered less than two minutes later with her ninth goal of the season, also off a rebound.
In the 54th minute, Reilly's first career goal came off a corner when Megan Osantisch fired a shot on goal that was stopped by Hawks keeper Teresa Mathews. Reilly collected the loose ball in front of the cage and deposited Quinnipiac's insurance goal to put the Bobcats out in front, 4-2.
Quinnipiac will host Bryant for Senior Day in its final home game of the 2013 season on Friday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Turf Complex in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats then close-out the regular season at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. on Sunday, Nov. 3. The MAAC Championship, set for Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9 will be hosted by Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.