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Daniels, Bobcats win NEC matchup in OT
Junior forward Will Daniels took matters into his own hands scoring just two minutes into the first overtime period, giving Quinnipiac an exhilarating 2-1 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.).
Exactly 1:02 into the overtime period, Daniels controlled the ball and gathered himself just beyond the 18-yard box on the right side. Surveying the field, he saw an opportunity to end the game and took it. The shot deflected off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
After the game, Daniels could sum up his emotions with only one word.
“Priceless,” he said. “Right when it went off my foot I knew it was going in.”
The goal ended a scoring drought lasting longer than 65 minutes in the game. The last goal had come in the 25th minute when Quinnipiac junior Phil Suprise tied the game up at 1-1.
Sophomore Tim Quigley crossed it over to Suprise, where he bent a shot from the left side just inside the right goalpost and outside the reach of the Red Flash goalkeeper.
Suprise, one of three captains, had been scoreless since the Bobcats season opener against Yale. Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa had sensed his recent frustrations and was glad to see Suprise breakthrough today.
“For him to get that [goal] is a good reward for him,” Da Costa said. “He definitely put the work in today and is the hardest working player on the field.”
Saint Francis (Pa.) had the lead for just 10 minutes before the Bobcats had struck back. In the 15th minute, the Red Flash had scored on a goal from freshman Pablo Medina. Medina ripped a shot from around the top of the box into the right corner.
The second half was highlighted by a defensive struggle, as both teams failed to break to break the 1-1 tie. Opportunities came few and far between, with the defense prevailing time and again.
In the 75th minute, it looked as if Saint Francis (Pa.) was going to break the game open. The Red Flash’s Makala Hairston hit a header that was a sure goal before Bobcats goalie Borja Angoitia leaped, fully extended, and deflected the ball just over the crossbar.
Da Costa used halftime adjustments to shut down the Red Flash’s offensive attack. Saint Francis (Pa.) was looking to utilize the long ball and pin the Bobcats backline against the wall.
“We talked about it at halftime and as long as we handled that, not panic at the back, and win individual challenges, we’d be able to collect the ball at midfield and be able to counter attack,” Da Costa said.
The Bobcats did just that, using their defense to extend the game and force overtime.
Quinnipiac was coming off an overtime loss in their last game to NJIT, but this time the Bobcats were not about to let another victory slip through their hands.
Bobcat senior captain Durval Pereira left the game towards the end of the first half and didn’t return. Da Costa couldn’t comment on the injury and his status in unknown.
The win bought the Bobcats overall record to .500 at 4-4, and 2-0 in the NEC. They will resume play Sunday at home against Robert Morris at 2 p.m.