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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Solid senior day performance earns the Bobcats first MAAC victory

Tripp Menhall
Fifth year forward Tomas Svecula takes a penalty kick against Manhattan on October 25, 2023.

HAMDEN, Conn. – In their second to last MAAC game the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team earned its first conference win Saturday on senior day, defeating Niagara 3-1 led by fifth-year forward Tomas Svecula’s two goals.

The Bobcats honored senior defenders Luke Allen and Terrance Wilder Jr., and also recognized their fifth-year players Svecula, forward Brage Aasen, midfielders Noah Silverman and Jason Budhai

“These guys have been fantastic for us there for five years when you look at the success that they’ve had as a group over the course of their career,” head coach Eric Da Costa said. “They’ve left this program in a better place than when they walked in.”

Before the game, over the PA system it was announced that Wilder was staying in Hamden for his fifth year of eligibility playing for the gold and blue.

 “He’s definitely in my opinion, one of the best fullbacks in the league,” Da Costa said. “He continues to not only perform but improve and that’s a credit to him and his mentality.”

In their final home game of the year, Da Costa made a change in net, having junior goalkeeper Matthew Pisani start instead of sophomore goalkeeper Karl Netzell — who had started the previous 15 games. Pisani’s last start was on Sept. 21, 2022 against Stonehill. 

“I have a great group of goalies that I work with every day and we’re pushing each other to get better,” Pisani said. “Finally, I got a chance today. I think I did pretty well.”

 Being a backup means working hard to get to a starting spot. Da Costa recognized the work Pisani was putting in.

“Matt’s been working hard throughout training, and he’s played some games last year so he’s prepared to be able to step in and play,” Da Costa said. “He did well and gave us a chance to win the game.”

With the desire to win on senior day it seemed like the Bobcats were going to strike first in the third minute off a counterattack after a Niagara corner kick, but Budhai had his shot saved by a sprawled-out sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Barry.

Quinnipiac had two chances that rocked the goalposts with Silverman and sophomore forward Ramesh Delsouz hitting the wrong side of the bar. Silverman tried to find the right-side netting but hit off the post and out of play. Delsouz rocketed a shot off the crossbar off a dangerous free-kick opportunity.

After a scoreless first half, the Bobcats and Purples Eagles piled on four in the final 45 minutes. Freshman forward Dominic Cintra got the opening score as he fired a shot past Pisani to put the Purple Eagles up 1-0 in the 50th minute. Quinnipiac pulled one back after a cross-in by sophomore defender Erik Langwagen just needed a tap-in by Svecula to tie the game up at 1-1 in the 57th minute.

Delsouz made up for hitting the crossbar in the first half by scoring in the 72nd minute, after he fired a Budhai pass near post, sneaking past Barry to double the Bobcats lead. 

The Bobcats weren’t done. After Budhai hit the crossbar, the ball bounced right to Svecula who put it into the open net after Berry dove on the first shot to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead in the 85th minute. 

“When you want it you know you’re going to get it,” Svecula said. “My second goal I completely miss-hit the ball. Just because I was there and I wanted to score it somehow ended up in the goal.”

Svecula finished the game with two goals in his final home collegiate match.

“I believe that you always have to leave the place in a better condition than when you came in, and I think I was able to achieve that,” Svecula said. “I fought for three seasons for the championship last year and I finally got it.”

The Bobcats have one more game left on the schedule as they travel to face Fairfield on Nov. 1. 

“We have nothing to lose, nothing we need to save our legs for so definitely we’ll go all out,” Svecula said. 


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About the Contributors
Ryan Johanson
Ryan Johanson, Associate Sports Editor
Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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