Men’s Soccer: Suprise sends ‘Cats to NEC Tournament

By on November 11, 2009

The first goal of the season was reached this past weekend; the second goal will be fought for this upcoming weekend.

The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team beat Central Connecticut State 1-0 on Friday night at Arute Field in New Britain. Freshman Philip Suprise scored the lone goal late in the game and senior goalkeeper Freddy Hall recorded his ninth shutout of the season to give the Bobcats the win and the third seed in the NEC tournament for the second consecutive year.

“It wasn’t our best game today, but it was a game that we thought we had to win,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “We wanted to position ourselves for the playoffs and the boys came out and got the result.”

And they did it on an abnormal field.

“We had to play on a turf field, and it’s a surface we’re not used to playing on,” Da Costa said. “The bounces are a lot more unforgiving.”

In the 82nd minute, Dominic Adams ran past a defender and then crossed the ball into the middle of the 18-yard box. The Blue Devils’ goalkeeper, Paul Armstrong, couldn’t hang on to the ball and dropped it in front of the feet of Suprise. The freshman pushed the ball across the goal line for his team-leading seventh goal of the season.

“Having seen every other rookie in the league, [Suprise] is definitely the most dangerous one in the conference,” Da Costa said. “He’s a good player, and a top rookie player in the league, and we all hope he gets recognized for that. There may be some rookies with better numbers, but his value to us is irreplaceable.”

The Bobcats recorded six shots and only three shots on goal. Chris Jones made one save while he was in net for the Blue Devils in the first half before the Blue Devils opted to bring in Paul Armstrong. He saved one shot.

After giving up six goals in two games last weekend, Hall only needed to make two saves for his ninth shutout of the season on Friday night.

“To give up four goals to Mount St. Mary’s last weekend was obviously something we don’t normally do,” Da Costa said. “We realized that it wasn’t good enough, and we made a promise to ourselves that it wouldn’t happen again. I think we’re back on track for where we need to be.”

The Bobcats will play in the NEC Tournament this weekend for the fourth time since joining the NEC in 1998. This is the first time they have gone on to play in the tournament in consecutive years.

“We’ve come a long way in a short period of time,” Da Costa said. “When I walked in the door in 2005, we knew it would take some time to rebuild the program. But our goals since that day were always to be in the top four in the NEC on a consistent basis and give ourselves a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament on a consistent basis. In the last two years, we’ve done that. We’re proud of the boys, and we want to continue in this direction.”

This weekend the Bobcats will take on No. 2 St. Francis (N.Y.) in a semifinal matchup of the NEC Tournament, hosted by Monmouth University. The winner of that match, will take on the winner of the Monmouth-Fairleigh Dickinson matchup in the finals. The game times have yet to be announced.

The Bobcats finished the regular season with a 9-3-6 overall record while compiling a 6-2-2 record in the NEC. Their 20 points are the most ever recorded by the program since joining the NEC.

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