Pierre Soubrier is the senior captain for a reason – because he can step up in pivotal moments and help the team.
“He’s a player who plays with his emotions on his sleeve,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said of the senior defenseman. “He plays for the team 100 percent of the time and he’s matured really well as a leader.”
Though Soubrier’s college career will come to an end very soon, he’s made the best of his final games. Now he can say he’s taken full advantage, as he scored his second career game-winning goal two and-a-half minutes into the first overtime against Central Connecticut State on Friday to beat the Blue Devils 4-3.
Soubrier’s strike lined inside the left post and sailed past CCSU goalkeeper James Perkins, who was cheating toward the right side of the goal. Once Soubrier’s shot hit the back of the net, he slid on his knees in celebration with his hands straight in the air right before the team mobbed him.
“This is definitely my best goal,” Soubrier said with a smile. “I had another [game-tying goal] last year against Mount Saint Mary’s – a header that came through two guys – that was a pretty nice goal too – but definitely this one highlighted my career.”
Photo credit: Alessia Tranfaglia
The other goal Soubrier mentioned came Oct. 30 last season when he scored midway through the second that tied the game at two. Quinnipiac ended up losing the game 4-3 in overtime.
A CCSU foul on Bobcat forward Dwayne Mars led to Soubrier’s game-winning opportunity. It was Soubrier’s second goal of the season and sixth of his career after he scored four goals last season.
“I just put my ball down and zoned everything out around me, looked at the goalie, looked at the goal, saw that open space and I put it right there,” said Soubrier, who also compiled two assists
The Blue Devils pressed in the final minute of regulation, sending all 11 players in front of the Bobcat net. Two headers off corner kicks from CCSU’s offense were off target, including one by Perkins, who finished with five saves. But with 19 seconds left in regulation, Jose Pablo Gamboa Palavicini took Jesse Menzies’ corner kick and knocked it past Bobcat sophomore goalkeeper Josh Lavallee (five saves) for the game-tying goal.
The late goal was nothing new for CCSU either.
Down 2-1 late in the first half, Lavallee (3-6-1) tried to save the ball from going out of bounds, but misplayed it and led to Andrew Ferrucci getting the ball and passing it to Connor Smith for the goal just 45 seconds before halftime.
The first Blue Devil goal came 18:49 in the first when Ian Smurthwaite chipped the ball over Lavallee’s head.
But Da Costa kept him in net and his play improved as the game progressed.
“He’s got to play his way through it,” Da Costa said. “He’s a young goalkeeper who’s feeling his way through the team. If someone told Edison to stop searching for his invention then we wouldn’t have things that we have today. He’s got to keep plugging away and keep trying to fix his mistakes. That’s why we kept him in there. He made some mistakes and he’s got to play his way through it.”
Soubrier assisted on the first Bobcat goal when he passed the ball across the field to sophomore William Daniels, who controlled the ball and shot it past Perkins from the left side of the box just 8:11 in the first half.
Three and-a-half minutes later, Matthew Rothbart’s corner kick found William Cavallo at the top of the box. Cavallo shot the ball and it bounced past Perkins.
The captain came through again in the 67th minute when he crossed the ball from the right side to a hustling Philip Suprise, who headed the ball in the left side of the net. Suprise’s goal tied him with Mars for the team lead with four prior to the final game of the season Sunday against Monmouth.
Quinnipiac (4-11-1, 3-6-0 NEC) outshot Central Connecticut (4-10-3, 1-6-3 NEC) 19-14 in the game.
Soubrier (two goals, five assists) and Surprise (four goals, one assist) are now tied for the team lead in points with nine. After notching two assists today, Soubrier’s five assists surpassed teammate Dominic Adams for the team lead.
Going into Sunday’s final match, Da Costa said that he is proud of this senior class, which includes Soubrier, Adams, Mars, Johan Karlhagen, Nick Pelicaen, Fabricio Silva, Tolle Staffanson, and Rodrigo Uchoa.
“This group of seniors has been great. They are the winningest class that we’ve had probably in our history in Division I. Unfortunately we’ve lost [as many] games this year than they have the prior three years combined. What they’ve done for this program – it’s a winning class. These guys can leave here with their heads held high. Even after this season they’re probably well above .500 in terms of how many games they’ve won as a group and they’ve changed this program. We owe them a lot.
“There’s no quit in these guys. They play good soccer, we’ve been unfortunate, and sometimes that’s just how it goes. If you go back, the first three years they had winning seasons, we went to the playoffs for the first time, we went to the finals for the first time in program history, you can’t take that away from these guys.”
Sunday’s game will mark the final time this group of seniors step on the soccer field, and for the captain Soubrier, it will be something special.
“I’m very excited for Sunday,” Soubrier said. “It’s senior day but unfortunately my parents will still be in France. I’ll be very happy and try to make them proud and be proud of myself when I walk on that field.”