Quinnipiac battles the elements in a 3-2 win over Marist

Colin Kennedy, Contributing Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – The Quinnipiac’s men soccer team defeated Marist 3-2 after a wet and physical matchup Wednesday. 

It wasn’t easy for the Bobcats as they extended their home winning-streak to six games. The match was physical from the start, as neither team allowed the other to generate any chances in the first 10 minutes. 

It wasn’t long after that when Marist graduate student winger Hugo Guerra sent a one-timer off a cross-crease pass into the Bobcats’ net to take a one-goal advantage. Only 17 seconds later, Bobcats senior forward Tomas Svecula drilled a shot into the top shelf of the Red Foxes’ net to even the score. 

After trading goals, the physicality rose to another level as both teams were applying pressure and attacking the ball. 

“Two good teams battling it out in really difficult conditions, trying to find a way to win,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “You saw a lot of emotion, a lot of grit.” 

In the 38th minute, the Bobcats came within inches of a goal when senior forward Jason Budhai’s shot went off the hand of the graduate student goaltender Samuel Ilin and over the net.  

As both teams came out of the break, the rain started to fall, and it set the tone for what was a true battle in the final 45 minutes. 

The elements became a real factor in the second half, which allowed Quinnipiac to make some adjustments in its style of play. 

“We want to move the ball side-to-side, but of course with these conditions it’s difficult,” senior forward David Bercedo said. “We played more long balls because it was too difficult with short passes.”

The Bobcats got things going a lot faster in the second half. Bercedo capitalized off a blocked shot that bounced back into the box by sending it right back into the net to take the lead. 

After falling down by one, the Red Foxes went on the offensive, but their aggressive play got the better of them. Bercedo took advantage of an over-aggressive defense and was all alone when freshman midfielder Alexander Stjernegaard connected on a downfield pass. Bercedo didn’t waste the opportunity as he got the ball past Ilin for his second goal, giving Quinnipiac a two-score lead. 

Emotions began to run high for both teams in the final 20 minutes as Marist made a push to answer the pair of Bobcats goals. The Red Foxes found their answer in the 73rd minute when redshirt senior defenseman Demarre Montoute nudged one past Quinnipiac freshman goaltender Karl Netzell. Tensions ran high when a Marist player tried to rip the ball out of freshman defender Luke Schierenbeck’s hands following the goal. 

“It was a professional performance and we asked that of the team this week,” Da Costa said. “We don’t want the emotions to take control of the game … using their emotions to lift them instead of going back and forth with the opponent.” 

Despite some last second-shot attempts from the Red Foxes, the Bobcats held on to improve to 2-1 in MAAC play and 7-3-1 overall. 

Quinnipiac is in action next on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. when the Bobcats travel to take on Rider.