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Women’s Soccer Sets the Bar High Heading Into the Season

Rob Rasmussen / P8Photos.com

The 2022 Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s soccer team had a lot to be excited about. They won their first MAAC championship, made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2000, and boasted the nation’s top goalscorer in Rebecca Cooke, very much putting this program on the map.

The 2023 version, however, does not want that to be an exception but instead the expectation. 

“Our goal is to be champions and to go again,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “We don’t want to be a one-off.”

The bar is set incredibly high by not only themselves but the women’s soccer preseason coaches poll, as they received six of the 11 first-place votes and 115 total points to be crowned the early favorite to win the MAAC for a second consecutive year.

This however does not change the mindset of the team as they move from the hunter to the hunted by the rest of the MAAC.

“We talked last year about embracing the expectation because we were preseason number one because Monmouth had left,” Clarke continued. “There’s a lot of experience within the team to build on and sort of lay the foundation.”

The foundation is certainly there for the 2023 team as they have 21 returning players that were a part of the journey from a season ago.

A common theme around the players and coaches is building a culture and being a program that is a consistent threat year after year.

“Last year our goal was to win the MAAC,” graduate midfielder Olivia Scott said. “This year, our goal is to win a tournament game.”

This team got a taste of some of the best competition in the country a year ago when they took on Penn State in the first round, now they want to become more familiar with those types of teams and take on a more challenging total schedule.

They will also need to be ready for the challenge as their out-of-conference games in this year’s schedule include the likes of Providence on the road and Dartmouth and Princeton at home.

This is a team that was second in the country last season in scoring offense and top 10 in total goals. Despite losing Cooke, who transferred over to Penn State for her senior season, they still boast loads of scoring talent as Scott, as well as fellow key returners Courtney Chochol and Ella Gagno, will look to build on what they accomplished a year ago and be even better in their MAAC title defense and potential tournament run.

The women’s soccer team will also look to rely on their experienced and talented defensive core which includes goalkeeper Sofia Lospinoso and defenders Kayla Mingachos and Madison Mandleur. This was a group that helped lead the team to nine clean sheets last year.

The Bobcats will take on the long journey up to Niagara Falls to take on the Purple Eagles for their first conference matchup of the season. They defeated Niagara, 4-0, in the MAAC title game a year ago.

The women’s soccer team has set high expectations for themselves for this year and it all starts with their season opener against Providence College on August 20th.

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