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Quinnipiac men’s soccer wins third straight
Behind the goals of Simon Hinde and Sam Nicol, the Bobcats improved to 3-0-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and tied for first place with Monmouth by defeating Canisius 2-1 Saturday.
Nicol got his first goal on the season while Hinde added his seventh score to his team-leading total.
Nicol struck first for the Bobcats. Raphael Carvalho placed a pass at the top of the box for his teammate who took one touch and blasted it to the top of the net over the keeper approximately 10 minutes into the first half.
“The keeper is pretty small so I just had to put it over his head,” Nicol said bluntly on his goal.
The second goal was generated from a free kick near the net. James Doig found Hinde who took a shot and placed it in the right side of the net out of Canisius keeper Ryan Arvin’s reach.
Goals early for the Bobcats have not been common. With 11 goals on the year, four have come in under the first twenty minutes and today marked the second coming in under the first ten.
“With Borja being out and Jason coming in and replacing him, now was a good time for our offense to step up and take some pressure off of our back line, who’s been fantastic all year long,” Quinnipiac head coach Da Costa said.
The defense, as Da Costa noted, once again played a sound game, not allowing the speedy Canisius Jamaican forward Asani Samuels to get any easy looks. This has been more of the same for the Bobcat defense.
“Our defense this year has been superb,” Nicol said. “It allows us more room up front. We can’t make mistakes, pretty much.”
“The back line has been playing absolutely outstanding,” sophomore goalkeeper Jason Vancura added. “They came up big again today. Really made it pretty easy to get the win.”
Vancura also got his first start in place of the injured Borja Angoitia. Maintaining composure, a bad touch early in the first half and a goal from his opponent were Vancura’s only wrongs on the day.
“It feels really good,” Vancura said. “I just really focused on what we worked on in practice. Took a couple deep breaths and just really tried to get it out. Everyone in front of me played huge, too.”
Overall, Quinnipiac played a well-balanced game with sharp offense, consistent defense, and effective goalkeeping against whom the team sees as one of the tougher opponents in the MAAC.
“I thought today was a really good balance between the two [offense and defense],” Da Costa said. “The back line did really well and we limited them to a couple of opportunities. And then our offense took care of some of their chances.”
The Bobcats have two upcoming road games against Monmouth and Manhattan, which sit at first and third in the conference, respectively. These are crucial potential victories if the team wants to stand atop the MAAC.
“We are going to enjoy today, first and foremost,” Da Costa said. “We are going to get back to work tomorrow and focus on our task, which will be Manhattan on Wednesday.”