On a day when the former Quinnipiac All-American star forward Graciano Brito was in attendance, a future star may have emerged for the Bobcats.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats beat the Bryant Bulldogs 3-0 on Friday afternoon in their final game of a six game homestand at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field. Freshman Philip Suprise led the Bobcats offensively by scoring all three goals and recording his first career hat trick. The Bobcats remain undefeated for the season with a 5-0-5 overall record, and a 2-0-1 NEC record.
“He probably could have had a couple more there, but he put himself in great positions and our team did a great job of finding him in those spaces,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “He did a good job. He put his chances away and was a little bit unfortunate not to get a couple more.”
The Bobcats got off to a fast start offensively. In the 13th minute sophomore defender Matthew Rothbart fed Suprise around the top left corner of the 18-yard box. Suprise spun around a Bulldog defender and ripped a shot on goal with his left foot. Matt Miscione, Bryant’s freshman goalkeeper, couldn’t get a grip on the ball, and it deflected off his hands into the back of the net. It was Suprise’s third goal of the season and Rothbart picked up his first career point on the assist.
Quinnipiac continued to put on the pressure offensively even after scoring the opening goal. After Rothbart and Dominic Adams missed opportunities, Suprise found the back of the net again in the 32nd minute. Junior Nick Pelicaen placed a low ball behind Bryant’s defense giving Suprise a one-on-one with Miscione. The freshman forward easily pushed the ball passed Miscione and into the lower right corner for another left-footed goal. Pelicaen picked up his second assist of the season.
The Bobcats didn’t miss a beat in the start of the second half and continued to dominate every aspect of the game. Pelicaen and Suprise both missed opportunities for goals early on in the second half. It wasn’t until the 65th minute that Suprise got his hat trick. Sophomore Durval Pereira got the ball at the midfield line and started a three-on-two rush. He originally faked a pass to a charging Pelicaen, but then crossed it to a wide open Suprise inside the box. Suprise looked up and slid the ball past the Bulldogs backup goalkeeper Victor Tutino with his right foot into the lower right corner of the goal.
“It was a good pass by DJ, and I just put it away,” Suprise said. “It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve gotten a lot better just by playing these last couple of months. I just hope to do really well for the rest of the season.”
After a few more chances, the Bobcats used the rest of the game to rest some starters and give freshmen some important in-conference playing time. Marijan Jurac, William Cavallo, and Ryan Malki all came in to seal the victory. Junior Johan Karlhagen also had a much anticipated comeback and played his first 16 minutes of the homestand. Before a tough finishing stretch in the schedule, the Bobcats are starting to come together as a team.
“The attitude of this team has been great all year,” Da Costa said. “To be honest all the way back to last spring the attitude has always been great. These guys get along real well and really care for each other and care for the program, and that always makes it easier for the coaching staff. After two wins you’re going to see a lot of smiling faces.”
Goalkeeper Freddy Hall wasn’t tested much, stopping just four shots. His scoreless streak has now reached 290 consecutive minutes. Hall was taken out in the 80th minute for senior Alexander Rousselle who made one save, his first since 2007. Together, Hall and Rousselle recorded the Bobcats’ sixth shutout of the season.
On the other side, Matt Miscione, the Bulldogs freshman goalie had two saves and allowed two goals for Bryant. He was lifted after the first half for junior Victor Tutino. Tutino had one save and allowed one goal. With the loss, the Bulldogs’ record drops to 2-9 overall and 0-3 in the NEC.