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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Starting over: Men’s soccer prepares for title defense

Peyton McKenzie
Freshman midfielder Francisco Ferreira watches the ball after shooting during a non-conference game against Boston College

Most teams coming off a championship season want to build off of it, using the title campaign to their advantage. The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team is preparing to do the opposite.

The Bobcats want to start over. 

“We wanted a clean slate, and we wanted to sort of wipe last season,” head coach Eric Da Costa said. “We’re proud of that success, that being in the history books, but for this team, they haven’t accomplished anything.” 

Da Costa is entering his 19th season manning the ship for the Bobcats, making him the longest-tenured coach in program history. With his experience, Da Costa knows what it takes to reach the top, and this group still has a ways to go. 

“It’s just game-by-game and week-by-week, just taking steps in the right direction,” Da Costa said. “We talk about it in training every day, be better today than you were yesterday and hopefully that’s almost as good as you’ll be tomorrow.” 

The Bobcats are well aware of the saying,“heavy is the head that wears the crown,”. Every team that stands across from them knows the level that they are capable of playing at. With the trophy comes the pressure of replicating that success, and Quinnipiac welcomes that pressure. 

“It’s what we are expecting, and that’s exactly what we want,” sophomore goalkeeper Karl Netzell said. “When you perform well that’s the consequence, but a great team is a team that can handle the pressure and still perform every week.” 

At the forefront of any great team is great leadership, and the Bobcats are fully confident in the two men chosen to don the armband. Forward Brage Aasen and defenseman Luke Allen, both graduate students, will step into the shoes of former captain David Bercedo, who transferred to North Carolina for his graduate season. 

“I’ve been here four years now and I’d never thought I was going to be captain,” Allen said. “It’s an honor.” 

Besides the captains, the roster is chock-full of seniors and fifth-years who are ready to step up and push the team, including graduate student midfielder Dario Cavada and forward Tomas Svecula. Cavada recently transferred to Quinnipiac following four seasons at Hartford. 

“We like to call it a leadership group by committee,” Da Costa said. “There’s a lot of guys who have been here for a while. They know what we’re about, what the culture of the program is and making sure that we continue to instill that and build upon it.”  

A strong locker room environment certainly helps what is already a team full of talented players. Both Aasen and Svecula were named to the preseason All-MAAC team, with Aasen also being named the MAAC preseason player of the year. Svecula ranked second in points on the 2022 squad with 24, and Aasen tallied 17 points while battling injury. 

The Bobcats also have a fresh set of new players joining the team for the 2023 season. Cavada is expected to bolster the midfield with four years of experience under his belt. Freshman midfielder Francisco Ferreira is also expected to make an impact from the jump, already notching his first goal in a 3-1 win against Boston College on Aug. 28. 

“All of our incoming guys have done a great job so far,” Da Costa said. “They all look like they’ve been here for a few years, and I think that’s the biggest compliment we can pay to the group.” 

Men’s soccer has a playing style that it is envisioning bringing to the field throughout the season: a style that plans on attacking opponents and not allowing any doubt to creep in on who the defending champs are. 

“This year our goal is to be dogs cause we know every game is going to be a fight,” Allen said. “It’s not always about who the better team is, but we need to be able to show that fight.” 

The Bobcats know what’s going to be coming at them over the next two months: teams that want to take their spot as kings of the MAAC. Unfortunately for the rest of the conference, that’s right where Quinnipiac wants them. 

“I always feel like we have a target on our back, and that’s okay,” Da Costa said. “That’s what we want.”

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Colin Kennedy
Colin Kennedy, Managing Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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