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Quinnipiac men’s soccer opens new field with victory over Saint Joseph’s
It was the first victory of the season for the Bobcats, who improved to 1-2 after losses at Boston College and UConn. The Hawks fell to 1-1-1 on the young season.
Junior midfielder Matthew Taylor scored the lone goal of the game in just the fifth minute of the game. It began with a cross from the left corner off the foot of graduate captain James Doig. Junior forward Rashawn Dally took the pass, held it for a split second, then delivered Taylor a pass that led to the score.
“It’s great scoring goals, especially when it leads to the team winning,” Taylor said. “Now we just need to kick on from here.”
The Bobcats seemingly dominated the game, despite the close score. They outshot the Hawks 8-1 in the first half, with the Bobcats having six shots on goal to the Hawks’ one.
Tempers flared late in the first half when Quinnipiac sophomore defender Conor McCoy and Saint Joseph’s forward John Fritz got tangled up. Shoving ensued before sophomore Bobcat goalkeeper Chrys Iakovidis separated the two.
The second half may have seemed tighter, as the shots were even at 5-5, but Saint Joseph’s wasn’t able to get any of its shots on goal. The Bobcats were simply unable to capitalize on their domination of the game.
“When you score early, it takes some pressure off for the rest of the game,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “But as the game wears on it starts to put more pressure on, especially if you can’t get the second (goal). I’m not a huge fan of scoring early. I like scoring…but there is such a thing as scoring too early.”
Iakovidis, who was named to the 2017 Preseason All-MAAC Team, earned the shutout for Quinnipiac, saving one shot and earning his first win of the season.
It was a much-needed win for Quinnipiac, having lost its first two games on the road. The 2016 MAAC regular-season champions were also voted first in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. But a new year always brings about new challenges.
“We needed to feel the taste of winning,” Da Costa said. “We often forget, and I do too, how young our team is. We can’t assume everything is going to happen the way it happened last year. Every year is new, and every team is new.”
“We’ve been training (on the new field) for two weeks now,” Taylor said. “We love it here. It’s a big upgrade from what we’ve had and we just plan to prove that we deserve it.”
Da Costa, a Quinnipiac graduate and former four-year starter on the soccer team, knows how big this moment was for the school and the soccer program.
“This was a historic moment for our program,” Da Costa said. “To have the opportunity to play at an incredible venue, and it’s not quite finished up yet, but it feels like home already.