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HAMDEN, Conn. – Freshman forward Jessica Fontaine (Enfield,Conn.) scored her third career goal on Wednesday afternoon, as the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the Manhattan Jaspers, 1-0, at the QU Soccer Field. Sophomore goalie Natalia Grodzki (Bartlett, Ill.) made five saves on her way to a clean sheet. Grodzki now has 5.5 shutouts in her career.
"It was good to get back on grass where we are unbeaten in the MAAC, which is good because we have Monmouth on Saturday on grass and the games in Disney are on grass," said Head Coach Dave Clarke. "The second goal didn't come and you're susceptible to emotion in the last couple of minutes. We didn't deal well with it, but we can at least look on tape and say we didn't do well with it, but we still won. I'll take the clean sheet and the win which is more important as well."
The first half started with Quinnipiac testing Manhattan goalie Kristen Skonieczny early. Quinnipiac forced their first corner in the fourth minute. In the seventh minute Kelly Caruso (Rocky Hill, Conn.) had the first shot of the game, but Skonieczny was able to get a hand on it. Shannon Larkin (Burlington,Conn.) would have the next chance for the Bobcats in the 10th minute, but once again Skonieczny was able to make a save.
After a foul in the 22nd minute Quinnipiac was able to set up for a free kick. The ball was served into the box and it was kicked around before being rebounded to Fontaine on the far post. Fontaine was able to get a foot on it and put it into the back of the net for the goal. The goal tied her with Aine McKeever (Derry City, Northern Ireland) for the team lead in goals. "Shannon [Larkin] did a really good job of getting on the goalkeeper and I was just lucky to be there. She did all the hard work," said forward Jessica Fontaine.
Quinnipiac would remain on the attack as evidenced by their halftime edge in shots (9-1) and their halftime edge in corner kicks (4-0).
The second half would see both Quinnipiac and Manhattan attacking, but Skonieczny and Grodzki remaining stout. Manhattan forward Erica Modena would lead the Jasper attack in the second half. She would have the first of her five shots in the 49th minute. Grodzki was able to get a handle on the shot and corral it for the save.
In the 74th minute Modena had the best chance of the second half for either team. Modena was able to force a one on one causing Grodzki to come out of the net. Modena tried to dribble to the side of Grodzki and put a shot on net, but Grodzki was able to make a diving save that kept the Bobcats ahead. Modena had two more shots in the final 15 minutes, but Grodzki was able to handle both shots to keep the 1-0 lead and give Quinnipiac their 3rd MAAC win of the season. After the final whistle the Bobcats held advantages in corners (8-0) and shots (13-6).
Skonieczny made six saves for Manhattan, while Grodzki made five saves and kept a clean sheet for Quinnipiac. "The defense did a really good job of not letting them shoot," said goalkeeper Natalia Grodzki. "I didn't really have much to do today. I think it was all on the defense." As for Monmouth on Saturday Grodzki said, "We'll have to see the scouting report on Monmouth. It is Senior Day on Saturday so there will be extra enthusiasm for the game."
Quinnipiac moves to 3-7-4 overall and 3-3-3 in the MAAC while Manhattan moves to 5-11-1 and 2-6-1 in the MAAC. Quinnipiac moves to 2-1-0 all-time against Manhattan.
The Bobcats will wrap up regular season play on Saturday, Oct. 26, when they host the Monmouth Hawks for Senior Day. Start time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the QU Soccer Field with ceremonies honoring Beck Kiting, Aine McKeever, Taylor Healey, and Mary Corrado before the game.
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