HAMDEN, Conn. Nicole Fiore (Monroe, Conn.) scored four goals and assisted on two others as the Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team defeated the University of Connecticut, 11-10, in the season opener at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf. Five members of the Bobcats registered multiple points as the team improves to 1-0 for the third year in a row. The loss drops the Huskies' overall mark to 0-4 this season. The win marked the second consecutive year that Quinnipiac defeated its intra-state rival after taking last season's contest 10-6.
"It's really exciting to get a win in the first game," said Head Coach Danie Caro. "We didn't execute as well as we would've liked, but we got the job done at the end. I'm really happy for Nicole, who had great start to her senior season. All of our seniors played well and they're really committed to finishing their careers with no regrets."
Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) scored the game's opening goal just 2:49 into the game on a free-position shot for the Bobcats. Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) followed a minute and a half later with her first-career goal after Latonick fed the freshman midfielder at the top of the goal crease to put the Bobcats up 2-0. Fiore's first goal came on another feed into the middle of the 8-meter arc, this time from last season's Northeast Conference Player of the Year senior Tiffany Manzi (Feeding Hills, Mass.). Fiore received the pass and beat UConn's Jenna Moulton for the goal. Both teams exchanged goals the rest of the first half as they headed into halftime tied, 5-5.
Quinnipiac freshman Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) scored the first goal of her career 2:53 into the second half to give the Bobcats a 6-5 lead. The Huskies would score four of the next five goals, including three from Whitney Michele over the next seven and a half minutes to take a 9-7 lead with 19:48 remaining in the second half.
Manzi's first goal of the season sparked a 4-0 Quinnipiac run to regain the lead, 11-9. Fiore scored her final goal of the game on a free-position shot at the 17:41 mark. Gibney score her second just under two minutes later and senior co-captain Ashley Valentine (Friendship, Md.) beat UConn backup goalie Ann Wallingford for her second of the game with just under 12 minutes showing on the clock.
Michele scored the Huskies' 10th goal of the game with 8:23 left, but freshman goalie Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) turned away numerous UConn chances late in the game, allowing the Bobcats to hold on for the 11-10 victory. Martello split time with junior goalkeeper Hannah Nelson (Glastonbury, Conn.), who played the first half and made five saves. Martello matched that figure in the final thirty minutes, including the three in the final four.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday, Mar. 7 when they travel to Cambridge, Mass., to take on Harvard. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.