To say Quinnipiac field hockey has been historically overmatched by Boston College would be an understatement—the Bobcats entered Friday afternoon’s matchup a woeful 0-14 historically against the Eagles, having been held scoreless nine times. The 2018 season-opening matchup between the nearby foes was no different.
No. 13 BC, returning all five of its top goal scorers from a season ago, flexed its offensive muscles en route to a 7-0 shutout of host Quinnipiac (0-1). The Eagles (1-0) were clearly a class above their New England foe throughout the match, seeing seven players register a point while holding the Bobcats to just three shots in total.
Familiar faces dotted the scoresheet. Midfielder Fusine Govaert, who led the team with six goals a season ago, fronted the attack with two goals and an assist. Govaert, picking up the slack left by the absence of Lucy Lytle in the starting lineup, found the back of the cage just two minutes into the game. She was joined in the dominant effort by Brooke Matherson, who logged both a goal and an assist in the opening period, accounting for half of the team’s first-half production.
Goals from Jaime Natale, Elizabeth Warner, Nell Webber, and Cassidy Atchison just added insult to injury, with the Eagles unleashing shots on Quinnipiac goaltender Alicia Galasso at an impressive frequency.
The convincing win allowed head coach Kelly Doton to get a good look at her bench—Doton mixed in six players off the bench, all surpassing 15 minutes on the field. Expected contributors, like Warner, a year removed from a four-goal effort, found the back of the net, as did new faces like Nell Webber, who was making her debut in the maroon and gold.
It wasn’t much of a surprise that the match was surprisingly one-sided, as the historical edge was clearly in BC’s favor. Last year against Quinnipiac, the Eagles rolled to a 6-1 victory, finding two goals from the then-freshman Natale more than enough. Still, opening so strongly is never anything to frown upon, especially when the offense seems to be firing on all cylinders. Govaert, in particular, looked the part of a go-to option on offense—she was heavily involved throughout the first half and was able to cruise after the break.
The defense was especially stout as well, consistently forcing the Bobcats to play back on their heels after failing to string together any passes or push across the midfield line. For fans of the program, this wasn’t a surprise—the defensive core of Frederique Haverhals, Ymke Rose Gote, and Elizabeth Dennehy all eclipsed 1,000 minutes a year ago and formed a tough wall in front of keeper Sarah Dwyer.
Govaert found the back of the net first, then set up Warner five minutes later for the early 2-0 lead. It only got worse for Galasso from there, as BC needed just a minute and five seconds to score again—this time Matherson with her first of the year. The steady stream of shots didn’t cease, eventually with Govaert striking paydirt in the 21st minute for the brace. The sophomore started the final 12 games of the season last year and has turned the growth into a role in the U.S. National Team program, even earning a trial with the U-21’s.
Doton’s team took their foot off the gas in the second, but only slightly. The Eagles still piled up three goals, the first two coming in a five-minute span. Atchison struck first off a feed from Haverhals, then Webber found the back of the net, scoring her first career goal just 11 minutes after entering as a substitute. The scoring was capped by Natale in the 64th minute, a fitting full circle for the sophomore, who had broke out against the Bobcats the year prior.
It was a convincing performance, in all regards. The only knock on BC’s thorough win would be the high foul totals—its 38 fouls dwarfed the Bobcats’ 17, but the decisive advantage in other categories reflects the team’s solid start. The going won’t be quite as easy next time out—after all, No. 4 Maryland, on the road, looms. Last year, after beating Quinnipiac, the Eagles recorded three more wins in short order, including an upset of the then-No. 6 Terrapins. They seem to be in good enough form to replicate that feat in 2018.
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff