Primer: Fall Sports Return to Quinnipiac This Weekend


Jacob Resnick

For the first time in nearly two years, fall sports are set to kick off this weekend in Hamden.

After COVID forced the consolidation of fall and spring sports during the 2020-21 academic year, the players and coaches who typically performed during the autumn months are slated to return to their normal schedules, beginning with women’s soccer’s opener at Stony Brook on Sunday.

Here’s a rundown of the squads that return to action in the coming days and weeks, in order of their earliest date of competition.

Women’s Soccer

Opener: Sunday, Aug. 22 @ Stony Brook

Home Opener: Wednesday, Aug. 25 vs. Lafayette

Last Season: 5-2-1, lost MAAC semifinals

Dave Clarke‘s squad returns to the pitch after its second consecutive MAAC semifinals defeat, the most recent a home-field heartbreaker against Monmouth. The Bobcats are led by breakout star Rebecca Cooke, who finished with a team-best 10 points (four goals, two assists) in her debut season. Cooke was named the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year and is joined by rising senior Selena Salas (one goal, two assists) on the Preseason All-MAAC Team. Clarke has two strong options to turn to in goal — junior Meaghan Phillips and sophomore Sofia Lospinoso — alongside two first-year keepers.

Men’s Soccer

Opener: Thursday, Aug. 26 vs. Boston College

Last Season: 7-2, lost MAAC finals

After steamrolling through the abbreviated regular season and postseason qualifying rounds, the top-seeded Bobcats were stunned by the no. 6 Monmouth Hawks (yes, the same school that ended the women’s team’s season). Julian Gomez’s 86th-minute winner surely remains on the mind of keeper Jared Mazzola, who returns as a graduate student and will get a chance for revenge in Hamden on October 23. Thanks to the development of rising juniors Brage Aasen and Tomas Svecula, and the strong Quinnipiac debuts of David Bercedo and Luke Allen, the Bobcats should once again find themselves at the top of the MAAC table come November.

Field Hockey

Opener: Friday, Aug. 27 @ Boston College

Home Opener: Friday, Sep. 10 vs. Fairfield

Last Season: 2-7, did not qualify for Big East postseason

Quinnipiac finished under .500 in 2020-21 for a seventh-consecutive season, winning two out of three matchups against Providence and getting outscored 32-2 in six other games against UConn, Villanova, and Old Dominion. Becca Main, entering her 27th year at the helm, will be happy to see new opponents on the schedule, including Big East foes Temple, Liberty, and Georgetown returning to action. Last season’s two-time scorers — Jess Halley, Olivia Howard, and Julianna Cappello — are back in action this fall.


Opener: Friday, Aug. 27 @ Holy Cross

Home Opener: Saturday, Sep. 18 vs. Saint Peter’s

Last Season: 3-5, lost in MAAC quarterfinals

Year two of the Kyle Robinson era was short and only occasionally sweet. The MAAC schedule consisted of ten games over five matchdays, although the Bobcats ultimately played just eight times. Despite an energizing win over the previously undefeated Fairfield Stags to close out the regular season, Quinnipiac was quickly bounced from the playoffs by no. 2 Canisius. The Bobcats don’t lack in talent — Maggie Baker was one of the top attackers in the country for most of last season, Lexi Morse had a strong debut, and Aryanah Diaz is one of the most fun players to watch in the MAAC — but how they replace a couple of key losses will determine how far they go this fall.


Opener: Friday, Sep. 3 @ Sacred Heart

Home Opener: Saturday, Sep. 11 vs. Dartmouth

Last Season: 2-0

As if the three-time NIRA champions weren’t already firmly on the map, the Bobcats gained some more fans over the summer when alum Ilona Maher starred on and off the field for the USA women’s rugby sevens team at the Tokyo Olympics. After a 2-6 2019 season and 2020-21 campaign that featured just two games, both against Sacred Heart, Becky Carlson and her team will look to get back to their winning ways.

Men’s Cross Country

Opener: Saturday, Sep. 4 @ Stony Brook Invitational

Last Season: 8th place at MAAC championship

After an unusual first season in Hamden, head coach Rich Marcello takes the Bobcats into a full-length 2021 campaign that features five meets before the MAAC championship, which returns to Disney World at the end of October. Quinnipiac returns 13 members of its 2020-21 roster, including senior Cam Starr, who led the Bobcats at two competitions in 2019 and was a MAAC All-Rookie selection in 2018.

Women’s Cross Country

Opener: Saturday, Sep. 4 @ Stony Brook Invitational

Last Season: 3rd place at MAAC championship

After narrowly missing out on a MAAC title in 2019, Carolyn Martin‘s squad returned to the track during the brief 2021 season and posted another strong result, finishing third at the conference championship behind Iona and Siena. Rising senior Emily Young and sophomore Liv DiStefano return after top-ten finishes at last year’s finals.

Women’s Tennis

Opener: Friday, Sep. 17 @ Army

Last Season: 9-5, lost MAAC finals

After posting a pristine 6-0 record in conference play during the regular season, Quinnipiac fell 4-1 to Siena in last year’s MAAC title match. Paula Miller will look to get the Bobcats back to the NCAA Tournament, where they qualified five times last decade, this fall. Kamilla Nella, who was undefeated (8-0) in MAAC play last season, is back with the team as a senior.


Opener: Monday, Sep. 20 @ Boston College Intercollegiate

Last Season: 1st place at MAAC championship

While the coronavirus was a roadblock for college teams around the country last season, Quinnipiac golf faced another challenge — Mother Nature. After an impressive victory at the MAAC championship, the Bobcats headed to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, where torrential rain led to the decision to cancel the tournament. Quinnipiac was able to finish out its season at the Barstool Sports LTP Tournament, which brought national attention to the program. John O’Connor‘s core group returns this fall to try and bring home the program’s fourth conference title.