HAMDEN, Conn. - Junior Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) matched her career-high with six goals to lead the Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team to a 14-11 victory over Northeast Conference opponent Robert Morris on Sunday afternoon at Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Quinnipiac's fourth consecutive victory improves its overall record to 4-3 and its NEC record to 3-0, while Robert Morris falls to 2-7 overall and 1-1 in NEC action.
"I'm really proud of the way the team played today," said head coach Danie Caro. "For the first time all season, we played for 60 minutes and that's been our goal all along. If we can play like that the rest of the way I like our chances."
Aside from Gibney, the Bobcats received offensive support from seniors Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.), Laura Iannotti (Rocky Point, N.Y.), and Jennifer Skipper (Centerport, N.Y.), who each netted two goals on the afternoon. Senior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) and sophomore Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) each contributed one goal on the afternoon. Sophomore Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.) led the Bobcats with three assists, while senior Christine Sinnigen (Sudbury, Mass.) and Toomey each earned two assists in the game.
Caroleo, who collected a team-high five ground balls and five draw controls in the game, also shared a team-high two caused turnovers with Gibney. Caroleo responded well to her defensive assignment by shutting down on one of the Colonials' top scorers, Colleen O'Donnell, who attained just two points in the contest overall. Sophomore Noelle Martello (Westbury, Conn.) made a game-high 12 saves in net for the Bobcats.
Despite losing the ground ball battle, 22-17, Quinnipiac's defense played exceptionally well against a Colonials unit which had previously defeated the reigning NEC champions Sacred Heart, 11-10, in overtime on Friday, Mar. 25. The Bobcats allowed a season low three free position shot attempts through the entire game.
"I think our defense has been playing better and better as the season has progressed," said Caro. "Most of the goals we gave up today were due to good plays by Robert Morris as opposed to bad plays by our defense. I give a lot of credit to Robert Morris, they're a good team and much improved from last year and I think they will be one of those teams that's in the tournament come the end of the season."
The Colonials were led offensively by Rachel Engel (four goals, one assist), MacKenzie Lawler (three goals), Ashley Trombetta (two goals), O'Donnell (one goal, one assist) and Elizabeth Sunseri (one goal). O'Donnell grabbed a team-high five ground balls, while also matching Lawler with a team-high three draw controls. Kaitlin Pentz turned away eight shots in net for Robert Morris.
Quinnipiac began the game's scoring on a Caroleo goal with just under two minutes elapsed in the first half. Robert Morris proceeded to take the lead, 2-1, on two consecutive goals before Gibney's goal with 23:32 remaining in the first half re-tied the score at two apiece.
Robert Morris netted two more goals, but once again Gibney halted the Colonial's momentum with her first of two free position goals of the afternoon with 15:39 remaining in the half. Iannotti tied the score, 4-4, but Robert Morris quickly regained the lead, 5-4, with 13:08 remaining. Quinnipiac proceeded to keep the Colonials off the scoreboard for the remainder of the half, while the Bobcats netted three goals of their own to take a 7-5 lead into the break. Gibney, who scored two more goals during that time span, and Skipper each scored for Quinnipiac.
Robert Morris and Quinnipiac traded goals to begin the second half, as Gibney's goal with 24:23 remaining in the game gave the Bobcats an 8-6 lead. Following a Colonials goal, Skipper netted her second tally of the afternoon on a free position shot to give the Bobcats a 9-7 lead with 21:59 remaining. Two quick Robert Morris goals tied the score at nine apiece, yet Quinnipiac responded by scoring three straight goals, the last of which was score by Toomey with 13:47 remaining in the game, to give Quinnipiac a 12-9 lead.
Robert Morris and Quinnipiac would each score two more goals in the contest, one by Gibney and another by Matuszczak, to give the game its final score, 14-11.
Quinnipiac returns to action Friday, Apr. 1 when the team hosts Sacred Heart at 3 p.m.