Quinnipiac men’s soccer coach Eric Da Costa is back at the place where he once called home and the Quinnipiac alum could not be happier. “The moment I left Quinnipiac I knew I wanted to come back at some point,” Da Costa said. “I just didn’t think it would be this soon. Everything happened so fast.”
As an undergrad, Da Costa was a four-year starter on the men’s soccer team and served as captain his senior season, helping Quinnipiac reach the Northeast Conference tournament for the first time in school history.
After obtaining his master’s degree from Quinnipiac in 2003, Da Costa took a head coaching position at New Milford High School. He then became an assistant at Quinnipiac with the women’s soccer team.
Before becoming head coach of the men’s team this season, Da Costa took a head coaching job at Post University, a Division II school in Waterbury.
“When the job at Post became available it was a no-brainier because it kept me close to Quinnipiac,” Da Costa said.
Finally, after being away from Quinnipiac for only a year and a half, Da Costa was named head coach of the men’s soccer team earlier this year.
In his first season, Da Costa’s team has gotten off to somewhat of a rough start with a 1-4 record, but Da Costa is not worried.
“We have a great group of players who work hard and are starting to gel together,” Da Costa said. “We started to play well against Boston College. Unfortunately for us they are ranked 15th in the country. We started to become more confident with our style of play.”
As most coaches do, Da Costa brought a whole new style of play to the team, concentrating on creating a balance of both offense and defense.
“I think I am more defensive minded, in terms of being really disciplined,” Da Costa said. “I’d rather have the offense be a bit more creative and the defense more organized and disciplined.”
Of course it will take time for the team to adjust, but in no way is Da Costa ready to call this a rebuilding year.
“Many coaches say their first year that it is going to take three to five years before their team will be ready to compete,” Da Costa said. “I don’t agree with that. We have a great group of guys and we don’t want to waste the season.”
Da Costa believes that the Bobcats are in an excellent conference and will be able to compete with the top teams in the league.
“The league is very competitive, but it is winnable. It is a great league for us to be in. My goal is for us to finish in the top four in the league and clinch a playoff spot,” DaCosta said.
The Bobcats open conference play on Oct. 9.