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Top five Quinnipiac sports moments in 2017

By: Shane Dennehy

For many of the Quinnipiac teams and athletes, 2017 was a year to remember, while others will be setting New Year’s resolutions for 2018. The Bobcats put their mark on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in multiple sports this season, and even some of Quinnipiac’s teams and athletes left an imprint on the national stage.

  1. Quinnipiac Women’s Golf wins its second straight MAAC Title

The Quinnipiac women’s golf team repeated as MAAC champions last spring and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row. In the fall, the Bobcats won three out of five of its tournaments that included a six-stroke victory at the Dartmouth Invitational. In that invitational, junior Lucian Tobia-Palza shot an opening round 65 that broke the school’s single round record. Quinnipiac is ready for another successful campaign in 2018.

  1. Quinnipiac Women’s Lacrosse qualifies for the MAAC Tournament

Thanks to the leadership of new head coach Tanya Kotowicz, the Bobcats qualified for the MAAC tournament for the first time since joining the conference in 2013. Quinnipiac also had to play all of its “home games” at Yale University. Allison Kuhn played attack her freshman season but when Kotowicz became coach she had Kuhn switch to midfield which helped Kuhn get the ball more. Kuhn led the Bobcats in points with 40 and she scored 26 goals and had 14 assists. Senior Alex Hlesciak continuously put the ball in the back of the net as she led the Bobcats with 33 goals her senior season. With a new home field and a talented roster returning Quinnipiac should be able to make it to the MAAC tournament for a second consecutive season.

  1. Jessica Lee qualifies for the NCAA East Regionals

The cross-country and track and field programs do not get a lot of coverage or appreciation on campus but the women’s track and field team might have the most talented athlete in sprinter and hurdler Jessica Lee. Lee seems to break a record every meet and last season was no different as she set a new MAAC record in the 60m hurdles at the MAAC Indoor Championships. Lee continued her success during the outdoor season and dominated once again. Lee set a MAAC record in the 100m hurdles during the MAAC Championship meet, she then went on to the ECAC meet where she also finished in first place. Lee earned a spot in the NCAA East Regional meet, which was only the third time in program history that a Quinnipiac athlete qualified for an NCAA meet. Lee set a new school record in the 60m hurdles to finish off the last meet of 2017.

  1. Quinnipiac Women’s Rugby team wins its third straight National Title

2017 gave Quinnipiac a proper rugby pitch and higher expectations due to winning back to back national titles. After a loss at Dartmouth in the second game of the season, the Bobcats had to regroup and focus on getting back to the top. The Bobcats endured a lot of adversity this season and did not get the first seed in the NIRA playoffs despite having the number one ranking in the final poll of the regular season. In the NIRA semifinals, Quinnipiac played Central Washington who was coming off a bye even though they were only the three seed in the playoffs. On their new home field, the Bobcats got revenge on Dartmouth and won its third straight national title even without the support they deserve from the upper administration at Quinnipiac.

  1. Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball team goes to the Sweet 16

Quinnipiac sent shockwaves through the women’s basketball world when it beat No. 5 seed Marquette and No. 4 seed Miami to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats became only the fourth 12 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in tournament history. Prior to last season, Quinnipiac set the lofty goal of winning two games in the NCAA tournament and that’s exactly what they did. Quinnipiac even got some support from UConn’s head coach Geno Auriemma who wore a Quinnipiac shirt to his press conference before the Sweet 16. Despite losing Vanessa Udoji and Sarah Shewan for the rest of the 2017-18 season due to injury, Quinnipiac is ready to repeat as MAAC champions and get back to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.

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