‘There’s so much happiness’: Quinnipiac rolls over Canisius in a senior day shutout

Zachary Carter, Contributing Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – On a special day commemorating the team’s graduating class, the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team locked up the No. 1 spot in its conference with a triumphant 2-0 win over Canisius Saturday. 

“Every class that we graduate is really special and unique,” head coach Eric Da Costa said. “But these guys in particular… they’ve always had success.”

The team’s success today can undoubtedly be attributed to the way that certain members of that graduating class performed. Forwards Brage Aasen and David Bercedo, a tandem that has given Quinnipiac fans so much to cheer for in years prior, led the way again for the Bobcats.

About 10 minutes into the first half, Bercedo sprung on a Canisius defender, forcing a turnover and immediately looking for an opportunity to generate offense. Aasen, already streaking toward the net, took a perfect pass from Bercedo and placed Quinnipiac’s first goal of the game firmly in the back of the net. 

Bercedo just barely missed an opportunity of his own to score shortly after that, falling backward and lining a set-up pass just barely over the crossbar for what surely would have been a highlight-reel goal. His chance was one of several squandered by the Bobcats in the remainder of the first half. The two teams entered the locker rooms at the intermission with the score remaining 1-0. 

The second half paralleled the first almost identically. Aasen found himself in scoring position once again, only to drill a shot off the post and out of play. However, he would not be denied his second goal of the game. It was deja vu for the Bobcats when another beautiful ball from Bercedo allowed Aasen to easily tap in what would be the final goal of the game. Two goals from Aasen and two assists from Bercedo highlighted the team’s poetic box score. 

As part of the senior day festivities, Da Costa allowed some of his players who usually don’t see much playing time to check in for the last few minutes of the game. In the 83rd minute, senior midfielder/defenseman Andrew Sullivan subbed in to play the final seven minutes. With just 22 total minutes played this season, it was only his fourth appearance this year. 

Canisius, a team that has struggled all season long, (one win in 15 games), looked to get the jump on the Bobcats. Their physical style of play and unorthodox tactics surprised the Quinnipiac’s offense. 

“They came out with a totally different formation that we weren’t expecting,” senior midfielder Alex Holle said. “We needed to adjust mid-game, but I think we did that really well.” 

Aasen himself is no stranger to the limelight. Seen after the game signing autographs and taking pictures with young local players, he basked in the emotions of his senior day sendoff. 

“It’s great, there’s so much happiness around,” Aasen said. “Especially on a day like this when we win.” 

Da Costa reflected on his senior class post-game, characterizing their contributions to the club and his hopes for them as the season winds down. 

“I’m hopeful that we can help them pick up two trophies this year,” Da Costa said. “That’s the goal, that’s always been the goal since we walked in in August.”

The Bobcats will now turn their attention north, where they will travel to New York to take on Niagara this Wednesday at 2 p.m. It marks the last regular season game of the year for Quinnipiac, whose current record of 11-3-3 has been enough to lock up a first-round bye in the upcoming MAAC playoffs.