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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Men’s soccer heading in right direction entering conference slate

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac men’s soccer is set for on Oct. 7 battle with Iona in rematch of the 2022 MAAC championship game.

 Expectations couldn’t be higher for the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team as it heads into MAAC play with a 2-4-2 record.

Under the leadership of head coach Eric Da Costa, the Bobcats are brimming with confidence and show promise of competing for a consecutive title. Their prowess hasn’t gone unnoticed – Quinnipiac was recognized as the No. 1 team in the MAAC preseason poll.

Despite significant roster changes, the team’s strength remains formidable. It’s retained two of their top goal scorers from the previous season in graduate student forwards Tomas Svecula and Brage Aasen, and the dependable 2022 All-MAAC Second Teamer, sophomore goalkeeper Karl Netzell.

Building a successful team requires more than just talent; it’s about developing a synergy among players. Da Costa utilized the non-conference games as an opportunity to forge this very chemistry among his squad. Experimenting with diverse lineups, Da Costa emphasized constant improvement through the games and practices sessions.

It’s a new mentality here,” Da Costa said. “We’re starting from ground zero and we’re trying to work our way up from there.” 

The Bobcats are led by a trio of captains in Aasen, Svecula and senior defender Luke Allen. Aasen and Svecula were both named to the preseason All-MAAC team, while Aasen was also distinguished as the MAAC preseason player of the year. Despite Aasen battling injuries, the duo made significant contributions in the previous season, combining for 31 points. The pair will be crucial up front as the team heads into conference play.

Allen and the rest of the leaders will have a huge role to fill in the locker room, stepping into the leadership role left by former captain David Bercedo, who transferred to North Carolina over the summer for his graduate season.

The Bobcats biggest hole in their starting 11 is in their midfield, thanks to the absences of Jared Smith and Alexander Stjerngaard, who like Bercedo, also transferred. Those holes will be filled by graduate student midfielder Dario Cavada and freshman midfielder Franciso Ferreira. Cavada, a transfer from Hartford, has already tallied a goal and an assist, while looking comfortable working in the attacking third.

Ferreira has already made an immediate impact as well, scoring his first collegiate goal in the team’s 3-1 victory against Boston College.

With the reigning MAAC champs trying to figure out how to play together, Quinnipiac’s non-conference results were a roller coaster. The Bobcats dominated Boston College in the aforementioned 3-1 win in their home opener, but also had puzzling defeats, such as a 1-0 loss to CCSU, which Quinnipiac hadn’t lost to since 2006.

However, Netzell feels like the chemistry is starting to come together.

“I feel like I’ve played with these guys for years,” Netzell said. “We only bring in guys that have the same principles, it hasn’t been that difficult to get on the same level and I feel like we’re all on the same page.”

The Bobcats got off to a hot start in their MAAC opener against Canisius on Saturday, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, before ultimately conceding a game-tying goal in the 80th minute and settling for a 3-3 draw.

Looking ahead, Quinnipiac will face Bryant in its last non-conference game of the year, before squaring off with Rider on Sept. 30 in their first home game of MAAC play. Following that is a rematch of last year’s MAAC championship game against Iona on Oct. 7.

Iona was tabbed as the No. 2 team in the MAAC preseason poll, followed by Manhattan and Siena. Led by sophomore midfielder Sergio Gonzalez Fernandez and sophomore defenseman Tim Timchenko, Iona has had a strong start to the season, including a close 1-0 defeat at the No. 15 ranked Virginia, and opening their MAAC slate with a 1-0 victory over Niagara. The Gaels have allowed just five goals in five games.

“It’s always exciting to play against the teams you lost against last season,” Netzell said. “So Siena, Niagara, and we know Iona is a good team. We look forward to every game, but especially those three.”

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Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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