Quinnipiac men’s soccer falls short to Iona 2-1

Justin Blicht, Contributing Writer

The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team fell just short of the Iona Gaels 2-1 on Saturday at the Quinnipiac Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to (6-5-3 overall, 4-2-1 MAAC) on the season, moving to the third spot in the MAAC standings.

In a hard-nosed, low-scoring battle, Quinnipiac competed with Iona throughout the game. Iona was the second best team in the MAAC (9-3-1 overall, 4-2-1 MAAC) coming into this game, but the Bobcats still put up a fight.

Out of the gate neither team got much going, and that continued throughout the first half. It remained 0-0 until the Gaels struck first in the second half. In the 47th minute, junior forward Najim Romero scored off a cross from sophomore forward Mauro Bravo to make it 1-0 Iona. A minute later, Iona scored again on a goal by Bravo to put the Gaels up 2-0.

Morgan Tencza
Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa looks on as his team battles on the field.

Quinnipiac’s first goal came in the 72nd minute on freshman forward Jason Budhai’s cross to senior forward Eamon Whelan to bring the Bobcats within one. This was Whelan’s fifth goal on the year.

In the 87th minute, it looked as if Quinnipiac tied the game 2-2. However, the goal was called back due to the ball getting knocked out of Iona freshman goalkeeper Giuliano Santucci’s hands. From there, Quinnipiac had a couple opportunities to tie the game but fell just short.

The most glaring thing that occurred in the second half was how chippy it got in the game. Both teams were pushing and shoving the other around. After Quinnipiac’s first goal, Santucci shoved Whelan into the net. The ref gave warnings to both teams but still, it escalated from there.

In the 80th minute, Romero received a red card for slide tackling and kicking a Quinnipiac player.

Despite this loss, the Bobcats battled throughout the complexion of the game. Iona was able to just squeak by, and Quinnipiac gave Iona all it had to offer.

Furthermore, Quinnipiac has a lot of positives to take away from this game considering it competed to the bitter end against a potent Iona squad.

Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa believes his team didn’t fully recover after Iona scored its first two goals in a matter of a minute.

“It was definitely a demoralizing loss, it hits you like a shot to the gut,” Da Costa said. “I didn’t think we did a good enough job in the next couple of minutes of getting over Iona’s first two goals and moving forward. It’s a fluke goal and OK let’s pick ourselves up and go. Then the second one comes really quickly. To put ourselves in that position and then not get the results is going to be hard for our boys to sleep tonight.