Quinnipiac Upsets Liberty 1-0

Highlight by: Kyle Levasseur

Article by: Josh Silverman

Quinnipiac’s head coach Becca Main has preached one thing all season: Finish.

Against one of the best teams the Big East conference has to offer, Quinnipiac did exactly that. The Bobcats defeated the Liberty Flames 1-0 at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Complex.

As many great games do, Wednesday’s contest came down to the wire. Down 1-0 with zeros on the clock, Liberty lined up for its last opportunity to tie the game.

The Flames sent the ball in on a penalty corner with only two possible outcomes: a Quinnipiac clear to end the game or a Liberty goal to force overtime.

Quinnipiac cleared the shot wide and rushed towards goalie Livy Golini in celebration.

Though it didn’t score at the end, Main couldn’t have been happier with how her team finished the game.

“To score one and then hold on and play just a beautiful style,” Main said. “I mean kudos to my midfielders Elisa Ruiz Martinez, Ines Ruiz Martinez, Montana Fleming, Dayna Barlow, Selina Reichert. I think what they did was complement everyone all around them and they did just an unbelievably fantastic job today.”

Being the focal point of the play, Golini could only describe the final seconds in a few words.

“Hearts were pounding,” the sophomore goaltender said.

Quinnipiac’s stout defense showed up in full force for the game and was a big reason the team walked away with a well-earned victory. Though Liberty took 13 shots, only four of those were on goal thanks to Quinnipiac’s defenders not allowing many open looks.

In addition to her defense, senior defender Lauren Belskie continued to perform at an elite level. She notched her third goal of the season on a penalty corner in the first half and was constantly harassing Flame defenders. Belskie currently leads her team in points and will continue to be a player Quinnipiac will turn to in crucial moments.

“She is such a wonderful player,” Main said. “What we’ve actually done in the last two weeks is been able to bring players around her to play at that level to also give her a little bit of a break…She can be brilliant when she has those moments.”

Quinnipiac now sits atop of the Big East standings at 2-0 and Main was all smiles after the game. Main said this win ranks “Top two” all-time for her and Quinnipiac field hockey.

Though she is still an underclassman, Golini echoed her coach’s message after the game.

“It’s definitely way up there,” Golini said. “Not only do we get the shutout today but we beat Liberty, which is the first time we’ve ever beat Liberty and it was a Big East game. The team played phenomenal, it was just a team win.”

The Bobcats have set their goal: play in the Big East championship. And this win puts them one step closer to accomplishing that.

In addition to another tally in the win column, th Bobcats will take a lot more from this upset over Liberty.

“(This win) provides so much momentum it’s insane,” Main said.

Before Quinnipiac travels to Villanova on Friday for its next Big East game, it will host California this Sunday at 12 p.m.

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