Men’s soccer drops heartbreaker to FDU

Brian Stevenson

Alejandro Bedoya’s goal with 1:19 to play in the second overtime propelled Fairleigh Dickinson to a 2-1 victory over Quinnipiac in an Northeast Conference men’s soccer contest Friday afternoon in Hamden.

With the win, Fairleigh Dickinson moved into sole possession of first place in the Northeast Conference at 4-0.

The loss is the second of the season in NEC play for Quinnipiac, dropping it to 0-2-3 in conference and 0-8-4 overall. Its two losses have come to FDU and Monmouth, the second place team in the NEC.

FDU trailed the entire second half until Donny Mayard headed a ball past Quinnipiac goalkeeper Paul Fleck with 1:30 remaining. Bedoya played a lofted ball from 40 yards out to Mayard to tie the game.

With 5:47 to play in the first half, Quinnipiac took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Danilo Schiavon. Francis Mavula slipped a ball past the defense, and Schiavon beat FDU goalkeeper Elvir Prasovic for his team-leading third goal of the year.

Playing in its fourth straight overtime match, the Bobcats appeared to have their first win of the season in their grasp thanks to great play by Fleck in the second half.

During the latter part of the second half, the Knights controlled play, but Fleck made four of his nine saves in the match to keep FDU off the scoreboard.

“Fleck was outstanding. It was the best goalkeeping performance I’ve seen by a Quinnipiac keeper in my days here,” head coach Eric Da Costa said.

The pressure by the Knights paid off on the goal by Mayard and they took advantage of an overtime opportunity to gain the win.

Da Costa felt the Bobcats defended well for much of the second half, but fell into a bit of a defensive shell.

“We were forced to defend and really bunkered down,” Da Costa said. “I wish we could have continued to attack, but we tried to absorb all of their pressure. When you are constantly playing defense, it’s only a matter of time.”

Both teams played with the intensity typified by an NEC match according to Da Costa. Five yellow cards were given by the referee, three to Quinnipiac and two to FDU.

“It was an emotional conference game. The physical nature is part of playing in this league. The referee did a pretty good job of keeping control and understanding the intensity level,” Da Costa said.

Despite its tough start in conference play, Da Costa said his team remains confident.

“We are just as confident as we were in the beginning of the season. The guys are just frustrated,” he said. “We played a difficult non-conference schedule to prepare for NEC play, but we can’t catch a piece of good luck. All the bounces are going our opponent’s way.”

The Bobcats returned to action on Sunday afternoon beating NEC foe Sacred Heart, 1-0.