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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘The right things aren’t bouncing our way’: Bobcats suffer another heartbreaker against Manhattan 3-2

Tripp Menhall
Sophomore defenceman Erik Langwagen stands with his hands on his hips at the center line after Manhattan scores late in the second half on October 25, 2023

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team saw its playoff hopes slip farther away as Manhattan scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to deliver yet another painful 3-2 loss Wednesday afternoon. 

“Everybody’s feeling the same way,” head coach Eric Da Costa said. “We’re in it, we’re living it, we just have to continue to go through it.” 

In what was a must-win game for the Bobcats, they came out with a solid ball control presence, not allowing the Jaspers to get much of anything going on their offensive side. The problem, however, was Quinnipiac couldn’t put together any form of an attack. The Bobcats  were only able to get off a single shot in the first half, coming from senior defender Luke Allen whose shot sailed wide-right. 

As the first 45 minutes ticked on, Manhattan began to apply more pressure on the Bobcats, forcing sophomore goaltender Karl Netzell to make multiple impressive saves, punching all of the Jaspers’ shots away from danger. 

Quinnipiac left a lot to be desired in the first frame, which was evident from the frustrated body language coming from many of its players. Whether it was the passes that were sent to far upfield or missed defensive assignments, the Bobcats’ play encapsulated what has been a long month and a half for the team. 

The biggest problem was coming from the lack of offensive production, something Da Costa and the coaching staff have been trying to address. 

“We’ve been trying to figure out that ninth position … going forward by committee,” Da Costa said. “We’ve played a lot of different players in that position and nothing’s quite stuck.” 

The Jaspers wasted no time pulling ahead in the second half as junior forward Gunnar Studenhofft snuck a shot to the right of Netzell, putting Quinnipiac’s back against the wall — much like they have been all season. 

Following Studenhofft’s goal, another common theme began to emerge for the Bobcats. Things just wouldn’t break their way. Graduate student midfielder Noah Silverman sent a missile that rattled just off the right post. 

“It just keeps going the wrong way … We just have to live through it,” Da Costa said. “It’ll make us stronger in the long run.” 

In the 69th minute it appeared that things just might be turning around for the Bobcats. Fifth-year forward Tomas Svecula broke through the Manhattan defense, connecting on a sliding shot that got past senior goaltender Danny DiMarco. 

“We asked (Svecula) to play a little bit of a different role,” Da Costa said. “He started as a provider early on, providing the assists. In the last few games we’ve had to use him as a nine and he’s gotten his goals.” 

After Svecula’s equalizer the momentum shifted heavily in Quinnipiac’s favor as just over a minute later, fifth-year forward Jason Budhai – who provided a spark when inserted into the game – found a seam in the defense and drew a penalty. Svecula drilled the penalty kick, pulling the Bobcats ahead by one. 

“(Budhai) as a weapon is really important and it’s been like that since he walked in the door,” Da Costa said. “He has definitely evolved as a player where he was just raw talent that could run all day and he’s an actual, you know, real soccer player.”

Unfortunately the Bobcats couldn’t celebrate for long, as Svecula committed a penalty inside the box on a pressing Jaspers’ attack. Sophomore midfielder Henry Hamilton booted the penalty kick to sink the Bobcats’ high energy. 

“Conceding the penalty is a heartbreaker,” Da Costa said. “It’s definitely deflating.” 

Giving up the penalty was something Quinnipiac would never recover from when sophomore midfielder Ayoub Boumelala sent a looping pass in for Stoudenhofft who headed in a shot for the game-winning goal. 

“It’s a terrible feeling to be in that position,” Da Costa said. “We knew we needed to win.”  

With the loss, Quinnipiac’s playoff hopes become grim as a crazy scenario would have to unfold for it to sneak in. 

“We come in training every day and it’s not a sad team,” Da Costa said. “We’re not a team that’s quit, we’re not a team that’s not happy. We keep working hard and we keep trying to do the right things and unfortunately the right things aren’t bouncing our way.” 

The Bobcats will attempt to move forward on Oct. 28 when they take on Niagara in Hamden at 2 p.m. 

“We’re athletes and we’re told to suck it up and move on and unfortunately that’s what we have to do,” Da Costa said. “Put on a brave face and move on … It sucks.” 

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About the Contributors
Colin Kennedy
Colin Kennedy, Managing Editor
Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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