Patrick Healy, Managing Editor
Canisius’s women’s soccer team was narrowly defeated by top-ranked Quinnipiac on Saturday at the Demske Complex. By all accounts, the match was close. Canisius committed 18 fouls to Quinnipiac’s 16, and the Griffs outshot the Bobcats 10 to 9. The difference: the best player in the conference plays for Quinnipiac.
14 minutes in, Quinnipiac’s Rebecca Cooke chipped a bouncing ball over the head of Griffs goalkeeper Jordan Spencer to take a lead the Bobcats would never relinquish. Cooke, a junior forward from Ireland, was named to last year’s All-MAAC first team and leads the MAAC with 10 goals. (The next closest in the conference has 4.)
The Griffs didn’t see the loss as a setback. Spencer, the goalkeeper, blamed the goal on miscommunication and said she is excited to look at the film of the play in order to improve. Sophomore defender Sophia Konstantinou told The Griffin, “The fact that we were able to knock them on their heels and compete with them is a huge step in the right direction.”
Konstantinou prevented a second Quinnipiac goal with a sliding stop at the goal line and created multiple chances on offense through long balls and corner-flag crosses. The native of Williamson, New York, declared, “We showed up today and really competed and put them in their place.”
Though perhaps not quite as confident as Konstantinou, head coach Ryan Louis concurred with his player’s optimistic outlook. “We took a team like that to the brink. They were subbing their best players back on in the last 10 minutes, [which means] you know you’re doing something there well.”
Calling Quinnipiac the “most complete team at each position,” Louis said that “they’re the ones everyone is striving to compete with. Even though we lost, there’s a lot of positives to take from that. We’ll see them again.”
Given that Canisius is otherwise undefeated in home games, The Griffin asked Louis if the team is dependent on playing at the Demske Complex. “Not really,” Louis said, noting that one of their away games was against powerhouse non-conference opponent University at Buffalo. “I think we’re just as good away.”
The team’s goal remains to be one of the top six teams in the conference in order to earn a playoff spot. Louis said that the Quinnipiac match has boosted the team’s confidence and will help them in their push to the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, he said, “anything can happen.”
Four days later, the Griffs traveled to Lewiston to take on rival Niagara in a Wednesday night match. Niagara goalkeeper Felicia Grufman and Canisius goalkeepers Jordan Spencer and Jessica Jones (substituted in at halftime) kept both teams off the board with multiple diving saves. With the 0–0 draw, Canisius moves to 1–1–1 on the season.
Canisius travels next to Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland and Siena College in Loudonville, New York, before they host St. Peter’s College on Oct. 8.