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Quinnipiac men’s soccer fails to score in loss to No. 14 New Hampshire
Despite its late efforts, the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team’s bid to upset No. 14 University of New Hampshire fell short, as it lost 1-0 on a hot Saturday afternoon in Hamden.
“(New Hampshire’s) not ranked that high because of any false expectations. They’re a good squad,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “I thought we did a lot of really good things. We played almost our entire bench. Guys stepped on and they did a really good job and stepped up to the occasion and weren’t intimidated at all.”
Doherty’s goal came off an assist from redshirt-freshman defenseman Josh Bauer, who passed Doherty a through-ball in front of the net and then shot the ball past Quinnipiac sophomore goalkeeper Chrys Iakovidis.
New Hampshire out-played Quinnipiac in the first half, getting eight shots (five of which were on net) to Quinnipiac’s four (one of those being on net). The Wildcats also led in corners (4-2) and had fewer fouls (7-4). Quinnipiac junior midfielder Matthew Taylor also received a yellow card in the 33rd minute.
Things would change in the second half, however, as the Bobcats ramped up the pressure on the Wildcats defense. In hopes of more offense, sophomore forward, and last year’s leading goal scorer, Eamon Whalen started the second half despite dealing with an ongoing groin injury over the last few weeks.
“It’s lovely to have Eamon back here,” Quinnipiac captain James Doig said. “It’s someone that we need back, we need playing and we need scoring goals. It was nice to get him back in. But he’s at a stage now where we can’t just throw him in for a full game, unfortunately.”
And although the Bobcats only had one shot on goal in the second half, they had multiple chances as they switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
“We’ve done a lot of different things all season,” Da Costa said. “I think this team is very versatile and we have players who can play in different roles and that gives us the ability to change things. We made that adjustment for UNH to counter some of the things they do well, and it looked good.”
The first chance came in the 66th minute when senior midfielder Filosmar Cordeiro received a cross in front of the net, but struck the ball off the post and ricocheted far out of the box.
Three minutes later, freshman midfielder Paulo Soares took a strike from a few feet outside the box, but the shot sailed just north of the net.
In the 83rd minute, junior forward Rashawn Dally was set up with a header in front of the net, but his shot went wide-right.
The Bobcats’ final chance came in the 88th minute when they had a corner kick. Sophomore midfielder Evan Hughes’ corner failed to connect with a Bobcat and the Wildcats were able to clear the ball out and hang on for the win.
“It’s frustrating, but there’s many, many positives to take away from the game,” Doig said. “(New Hampshire) has wiped the floor with lots of teams this year. They’ve only conceded one goal, so that’s a tough defensive (team).”
Doig also didn’t play in the second half, leaving some confused. Doig said there were “no reasons” as to why he didn’t play in the second half, but Da Costa said it was due to a culmination of a few things.
“(Doig’s) certainly tired,” Da Costa said. “He’s been on the field of almost every minute of every game. It’s hot today, we play on Wednesday and we need to make sure our players are ready to go. And we got to make sure guys who have been waiting their turn and sitting patiently have a chance to show what they’re capable of doing.”
The Wildcats failed to get a shot on net in the second half, leaving Iakovidis with four saves on the afternoon. Graduate goalkeeper Andrew Pesci saved each of the two Bobcat shots on goal.
Cordeiro received a yellow card in the 63rd minute while Willis Griffith and Alex Valencia of the Wildcats received yellow cards in the 83rd and 85th minutes, respectively.
Saturday’s game marked the final non-conference game for Quinnipiac this season. The Bobcats will start conference play on Wednesday when they host the Fairfield Stags, who are 4-3 to start the year. Then, they travel to Niagara next Saturday to face the Purple Eagles.