Bobcats end injury-plagued season with tie to No. 11 Monmouth
In a rematch of the 2009 Northeast Conference championship game, the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team celebrated Senior Day with a 1-1 double overtime draw to No. 11 Monmouth Sunday afternoon at a windy Quinnipiac Soccer Field.
Prior to the match, Quinnipiac’s eight seniors (Dominic Adams, Johan Karlhagen, Dwayne Mars, Nick Pelicaen, Fabricio Silva, Pierre Soubrier, Tolle Staffanson and Rodrigo Uchoa) were honored in a rose ceremony as they entered the final game of their Quinnipiac careers.
“Senior days are always emotional, especially with this senior class,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “This was a great way to finish it off.”
Quinnipiac came out strong in the first half as it took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute of play on a goal by sophomore forward Philip Suprise. Suprise blasted a shot from outside the 18-yard box that beat sophomore goalkeeper Alex Blackburn and reached the lower-right corner of the net for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Senior forward Dwayne Mars was credited with the assist, his first of the season.
With nearly 12 minutes left in the first half, Monmouth tallied the equalizer as junior forward Erkko Puranen scored his fifth goal of the season. Monmouth’s Hermann Trophy candidate and senior midfielder Ryan Kinne sent a cross into the box to Puranen, who headed the ball just below the crossbar, past the hands of Bobcats’ sophomore goalkeeper Josh Lavallee.
The shots in the first half were nearly even as the Bobcats had eight shots while the Hawks had nine.
“We played pretty well in the first half,” senior defender Tolle Staffanson said. “We were all over them.”
With neither Suprise nor senior defender Pierre Soubrier playing in the second half due to injuries, the Bobcats “dropped back a bit” offensively, according to Staffanson.
Monmouth outshot Quinnipiac 5-2 in the second half while also having a 2-0 advantage on corner kicks. With neither squad able to score in the second half, the Bobcats found themselves in their fourth overtime game of the season.
As both squads battled into two overtime frames, neither was able to score the game-winning goal. Lavallee made three saves in overtime play, including one diving stop in which he punched the ball over the crossbar.
The Hawks outshot the Bobcats 24-12, including 10-2 in the two overtime frames. Lavallee made nine saves in the game while Monmouth’s goalkeepers Blackburn and Bryan Meredith had a combined five saves. The Hawks held an 8-2 advantage on corner kicks, including a 6-0 mark over the final 65 minutes of the game.
Sunday’s game marked the final time the group of seniors would wear a Quinnipiac uniform and “they got a decent result,” Da Costa said.
“They knuckled down and they worked hard for one another,” Da Costa said. “It’s a nationally ranked team and we hung in there with them.”
Photo credit: Zach Abrams