Freshman forward Sam McCann leads statement win over Manhattan as Quinnipiac men’s soccer pushes for playoff spot


Peyton McKenzie

Freshman forward Sam McCann scored one goal and assisted two others in a must-win game for Quinnipiac.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

Backed by two goals from Brage Aasen, the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team defeated the Manhattan Jaspers 4-1 in their last home game of the regular season on Saturday.

With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in MAAC play.

Before the game, Quinnipiac honored 10 of their seniors and graduate students who were playing their final regular season home game.

In a must-win game to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Bobcats came through big time.

Manhattan took an early lead after senior midfielder James Cotter’s shot froze Quinnipiac graduate student goalkeeper Jared Mazzola as it bounced off the far post and into the back of the net, giving Manhattan a 1-0 lead in the third minute.

However, the Bobcats surged right back. Just two minutes later, junior forward Brage Aasen’s 10th goal of the season knotted the game at one. Then, Aasen’s corner kick was headed by freshman forward Sam McCann towards the far side of the goal before being finished off by Griffin Scaglia for a 2-1 Bobcats lead.

Quinnipiac started the second half strong. In the 51st minute, McCann fed Aasen for a breakaway goal, Aasen’s second goal of the game, giving the Bobcats a 3-1 lead.

Four minutes later, McCann was on the scoring end. His header stretched the Quinnipiac lead to three goals. McCann had a field day with the Manhattan defense, in addition to his goal, McCann assisted on two other Quinnipiac goals.

After missing 12 games earlier in the season, Mazzola put together a solid outing in net during his senior night. Mazzola faced six shots, only one of them went in.

“Seeing my progression from my first year to now is crazy,” said Mazzola. “I’m really glad I came to Quinnipiac.”

Quinnipiac remained aggressive, even with a 4-1 lead in the 86th minute junior forward Jason Budhai sailed a shot just over the crossbar.

With a playoff spot on the line, Quinnipiac will wrap up its regular season against Saint Peter’s on Nov. 3, in New Jersey.

As the Bobcats currently sit as the 8th seed in the MAAC, a win against Saint Peter’s clinches the team a spot in the playoffs.

“We know it’s a big game … it’s my last year, I really want to get into the playoffs,” graduate student midfielder and team captain Paulo Soares said.