Quinnipiac Field Hockey Drops Rain-Delayed Home Opener to UNH


Clever Streich, Beat Reporter: Field Hockey

In a marathon four-hour game, with multiple delays due to thunderstorms in Hamden, the Quinnipiac Bobcats fell 3-1 to the visiting University of New Hampshire Wildcats on Friday afternoon. 

Momentum was difficult to keep for Quinnipiac in their opening game of 2022, as the stop-and-start nature of the weather allowed UNH to maintain control and shut down offensive chances. Quinnipiac went 0-8 in penalty corner conversions throughout the contest, despite outshooting UNH 8-6 in shots on goal. 

“Playing a marathon game, I thought we did very well in terms of drawing corners, we didn’t finish any of our corners obviously,” said head coach Becca Main. “UNH has always been a team we scrimmage against, and it’s the first year we play them [in the regular season], so they’re a good gauge for us.” 

 Throughout the first quarter, both teams traded chances as a battle was waged in the midfield for possession. Eventually, a communication breakdown from Quinnipiac in their own defensive end allowed Jaiden Wittel to put the ball past debuting Quinnipiac goalkeeper Cristina Torres, giving UNH a 1-0 lead that would carry into halftime. 

 “We have to fix our midfield. Our midfield are some of our most talented players, but I’m not sure they’re jiving yet with each other,” said Main. “We had difficulty in recovery, but I thought our back three and our front three did really well.” 

 In the opening minute of the third quarter, Quinnipiac drew a quick penalty corner, giving the team a chance to tie the game. However, as the Bobcats began strategizing, the sound of a violent thunderclap and a lightning sighting above the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Stadium forced the game into a half-hour hiatus. Coming out of the delay, the Bobcats played a dominant and high-energy third quarter, as the pause bought time for Main to review the tape with her team midgame and strategize for UNH.  

 “We’re able to watch the film during the lightning timeouts,” said Main. “You usually don’t get that amount of time to watch what a team is doing, so that was kind of fun.” 

 Quinnipiac was able to get on the board less than two minutes into the third quarter, as speedy forward Stella Tegtmeier broke into the scoring circle and found the stick of Lucia Pompeo, who drove a high rising shot past UNH goalkeeper Jemma Woods to tie the game. 

 “I got the breakaway from the midfield around the fifty-yard line,” said Tegtmeier. “I was running towards the goal and seeing [Pompeo] open on the sideline, I passed to her and she went with one touch and put it into the goal.” 

 Despite the Bobcats knotting the game up, the Wildcats later retaliated by drawing a penalty stroke late in the third quarter. Tasmin Cookman scored on a simple shot to get past Nina Santore, who was substituted in for the stroke, giving UNH a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

 Just as Quinnipiac was getting ready to fight back in the fourth quarter, deja vu set in for both teams. Thunder and lightning decided to pay another visit to Hamden, causing a second and more strenuous hour-long delay to the game. 

 “That first break we had, we had a dance party, with lots of music going and they came out and played very well. The second [delay] drained us a little bit,” said Main. “I’ve never had to do a game like that, coming out twice. The once, I think we handled well, but the second time, I think we exhausted ourselves.” 

 Emerging from the locker room again, Quinnipiac was not able to recapture their same play from after the first delay. UNH sealed the game late in the fourth quarter with a goal off the stick of Nicole Poulakis, securing them a 3-1 victory, UNH’s sixth opening day win out of the last seven seasons. The Bobcats will look to regroup next weekend as they face the Dartmouth Big Green in a neutral site game in Orono, Maine on Saturday,  Sept. 3.