Tuesday was not the finest 90 minutes for the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team, by any stretch.
The Bobcats, in one of their more lackadaisical efforts, lost to the Hartford 3-0, with two goals coming in the final 35 seconds of the game.
For almost the entire second half, Quinnipiac (1-3-3) played a man-up when sophomore defender Stevenson Hawkey drew a red card on an apparent elbow to the face in the 49th minute.
The player of the game was Damion Lowe of Hartford (6-0-2). A 6-foot-3 junior defender, he scored the first and last goals for his team. The first, coming in the 55th minute, came on a free kick that got deflected and found Lowe’s head, placing the ball in the lower corner.
The second goal was the demoralizer. Jovani Simms of Hartford, using his speed and talented foot skills, received a pass from his teammate and found the opening for the 18-yard strike in the upper left side.
With the clock winding down from the previous goal, Lowe launched a free kick toward the Bobcat net. Two-time 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week Borja Angoita saw the ball go over his head and fall into the net.
Sporting a less-than-impressive four shots on goal, only one requiring a save attempt, the Bobcats hardly challenged their opponent, which laid on 11 shots throughout the entire game.
“We were struggling to get anything going offensively,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “We made life for Hartford very easy today.”
It was a tale of two halves for the Bobcats, both lackluster in their own way. In the first half the plan of attack consisted of crosses to the opposite side of the field where their shortest offensive player, Raphael Carvalho, was forced to try and make a play around much taller defenders.
The second half red card proved to work as a disadvantage to the Bobcats. Forced to play more cautions, Hartford played back and clogged the manes, making the feeble Bobcat offense have to work even harder.
“Anytime you go down a player you have to become a lot more cautious,” Da Costa said. “It affected us more than it affected them. We became a little bit more conservative than we needed to be. You think you have more time and space when, in reality, it doesn’t affect the game that much. It’s our job to move the ball quickly and find gaps to play into. We didn’t do a good job of that.”
Physical play was the theme of the second half. Six yellow cards were given out, four to Hartford (one was to a member of the coaching staff) and two to Quinnipiac. In addition, each team ended up with double digit fouls, the Hawks with 12 and the Bobcats with 11.
“The score line at the end of the day means nothing,” Da Costa said. “Whether its 1-0 or 3-0, it doesn’t matter. Those last two goals don’t really concern me all that much. It is what it is.”
Quinnipiac heads south to take on Yale on Sept. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.