Quinnipiac’s historic season ends against Clarkson in the NCAA Tournament

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Quinnipiac’s historic season ends against Clarkson in the NCAA Tournament

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By: Andrew Badillo

It has been 363 days since Quinnipiac’s first round loss to Harvard in the NCAA Tournament. Saturday, Quinnipiac (30-3-5, 16-2-4 ECAC) reached the first round again, and experienced the same result.

All it took was one shot off the stick of Renata Fast, the game’s first shot, 10 seconds in for Clarkson (30-4-5, 14-3-5 ECAC) to end Quinnipiac’s season as the Golden Knights held on for the remaining 59:50 to win 1-0. For Quinnipiac, it was a season to remember, as it was certainly the most successful in program history.

“Clearly not the result that we wanted today, but I think we pretty quickly in our locker room shifted to just how important the two (Nicole Connery and Cydney Roesler) people and the other four seniors have been to our program and how special this year has been and all that we’ve accomplished,”Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “We couldn’t be more proud of the effort they’ve put into this program over four years.”

At the conclusion of their season last year, the Bobcats were in disarray. Their head coach, Rick Seeley, was under investigation for alleged abuse of his players and the team had gotten beaten badly in the NCAA Tournament 5-0 to Harvard.

Seeley resigned and assistant head coach Cassandra Turner stepped in. Turner led the Bobcats to their first ever 30-win season, achieved the longest unbeaten streak in program history, and won the first ECAC regular season and tournament championship in program history.

As the final buzzer sounded Saturday, as a shower of green and gold gloves rained down on them, the Bobcats’ emotions were running high.

“First is obviously upset, we wanted to win today,” senior captain Cydney Roesler said as tears streamed down her red face. “Second, just how proud I am of this whole team, this organization and how much it’s helped me as a person, as a hockey player but most importantly my teammates. I’m just so proud.”

“When the buzzer went off I told myself I wouldn’t cry but it happened immediately and it was painful, but I couldn’t think about anything but how lucky I am to feel that much pain to feel that much love for a team my senior year,” Quinnipiac forward Nicole Connery said. “It was the most I felt obviously throughout any of my years. Terrible to not go on but very lucky to have this group and coaching staff that we have.”

The senior class is for sure the most accomplished one in program history. Players such as Connery and Roesler played crucial roles for the team from their production to their leadership on and off the ice.

In particular, Connery has seen tremendous growth in herself not only as a hockey player, but also as a person.

“Effort beats any talent and when you have a group of people that support each other and feed confidence into each other that can make a team successful. I feel like I learned the most this season honestly, I learned how to be a better teammate, a better person,” Connery said.

Quinnipiac loses six starting seniors, however it does return its standout first line consisting of Melissa Samoskevich, Emma Woods, and T.T. Cianfarano. Goaltender Sydney Rossman also returns next year between the pipes. All four players will be huge next year for the Bobcats and have already shown that they are ready to lead.

“I see how dedicated the freshmen are. I was not that dedicated my freshman year. I see them in their on the ice in the weight room. As freshmen, I think they have so many heights to keep going and I believe they’ll get there,” Connery said.


Lack of Offense:

The Bobcats were only able to throw 14 shots Clarkson goaltender Shea Tiley’s way. The lack of offensive production doomed Quinnipiac, as it was never able to sustain consistent pressure on Clarkson. In their previous three games against Clarkson, Quinnipiac averaged 20 shots on goal.

Sydney Rossman:

Rossman played perhaps her best game this season, despite the loss. Rossman faced 29 shots, but made 28 saves after the goal from Renata Fast. The junior netminder was busy for most of the game and was forced to make plenty of saves on shots from in tight and in the slot.