HAMDEN, Conn. — icole Kosta scored three goals and added an assist in Quinnipiac’s 8-3 win over Dartmouth. After being shut out by Syracuse and Harvard in their last two games, the Bobcats exploded for eight goals. Coming into this afternoon, Kosta had just one goal, but had 10 assists.
“Kosta’s been getting chances all year,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “She’s been playing great and getting opportunities and we knew it was a matter of time before she started scoring goals. It was also great to get scoring from someone other than (Kelly) Babstock.”
For the first time this season, Seeley opted to go to senior Victoria Vigilanti in back-to-back starts after having her split time with sophomore Chelsea Laden.
“She was awesome,” Seeley said. “I thought yesterday she kept us in the game and today she had some phenomenal saves in the first half that the team was able to build on.”
The Bobcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on Kosta’s first goal of the night. Just 2:29 into the period, Babstock circled behind the Dartmouth net. Kosta stepped up to the slot and Babstock centered the puck. Kosta picked her spot and sniped a shot just under the cross bar.
Quinnipiac added to its lead with 7:12 left in the first period on Babstock’s 10th goal of the season. A turnover in the neutral zone led to a two-on-one with Babstock and Nicole Connery. A pair of Dartmouth defenders raced up to cut off Babstock’s passing lane, forcing her to take a shot from the right circle. Babstock wound up and blasted a shot that tipped off one of the Big Green defenseman and past Dartmouth goaltender Katie Milligan for the two-goal lead.
Dartmouth cut into Quinnipiac’s lead 7:58 into the second period on a Lindsey Allen power-play goal. After Shelby Wignall went to the box for a body check, the Big Green went on the advantage. Dartmouth worked the puck to the near-side corner, where Reagan Fischer sent a cross ice pass through the crease to Allen. Allen simply one-timed the pass under Vigilanti’s diving attempt to come within one.
“After the goal, we seemed to go back to doing the things we didn’t like,” Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak said. “I don’t think we ever recovered from it. Right now, it is a lot of individual breakdowns.”
Quinnipiac regained its two-goal lead with 1:38 remaining in the middle period on Connery’s first career goal. Once again, Babstock was in the center of things when she centered a pass intended for Kosta. The puck bounced off Kosta’s skate and onto Connery’s stick. Connery skated around Milligan at the top of the crease and tapped the puck into the back of the net.
Kosta scored 30 seconds later in a net-front scramble. Both teams piled into the slot, but neither team could grab the puck. Kosta finally took hold and roofed a shot in the top right corner for her second goal.
Kosta finished off the hat trick in the third on a breakaway goal.
“She’s just great,” senior Brittany Lyons said. “She has elevated her game over the past few weeks, and you can see she is turning into a really great hockey player.”