Quinnipiac men’s soccer wins home opener 2-1

Justin Blicht

The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team beat the Sacred Heart Pioneers 2-1 on Friday in a thrilling clash at the Quinnipiac Soccer Stadium. With the win, the Bobcats move to 1-1-1 on the short season, earning the second spot in the MAAC standings.

In a damp, hard-fought battle Quinnipiac freshman midfielder Oriac Vila Rotxes scored the team’s first goal in the eighth minute, assisted by senior forward Eamon Whelan. A minute later Sacred Heart tied the game.

[media-credit id=2272 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]However, Quinnipiac was able to capture the victory in the home opener on a Whelan goal in the 88th minute, assisted by senior midfielder Evan Hughes. Whelan had an exceptional game, scoring the game-winning goal and leading Quinnipiac with seven of its 24 total shots.

“I’d like to say luck is the residue of design,” Whelan said after scoring the game-winning goal. “You gotta be there to finish, but I mean I just happened to be there and I’ll take it.”

A huge discrepancy in the game was the amount of shots each team took. Quinnipiac had a whopping 24 shots compared to Sacred Heart’s measly nine. Despite this glaring difference, the score was 1-1 for the majority of the game. Quinnipiac had ample opportunities to score and was lucky enough to do so with two minutes left in the game.

Quinnipiac men’s head soccer coach Eric Da Costa was pleased to escape a battle in which Quinnipiac was on the attack for a large majority of the game.

“I thought we did a really good job of staying composed,” Da Costa said. “After a twenty-minute stop it was a bit rough and erratic. The game was too emotional, but once we settled in and started to play our game, we did a lot of good things in the second half. It’s good to be in a position to finish that game off because in our sport it doesn’t always happen that way.”

Junior goalkeeper Jared Mazzola was delighted about winning the scrappy 2-1 game but believes the team can play even better moving forward.

“I thought throughout the game we kind of played a lot under our potential,” Mazzola said. “I really expect more from everybody on the field. We deserve the win, unfortunately we had to get it by error but I think we should have done better from every aspect including myself. Everything could have been better today.”

Quinnipiac’s next game will once again be at home against Vermont on Monday, Sept 9 at 4 p.m. Vermont is 1-1 to start the year and will be looking to improve to 2-1 on Monday at the Quinnipiac Soccer Stadium.