Quinnipiac men’s soccer and UMass Lowell play to 1-1 draw

A late Bobcat goal sent the match to extra time, but neither team was able to snag the win

By on August 27, 2018

Megan Lowe | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
While students were getting to their first day of classes, the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie against UMass Lowell on Monday afternoon for the second year in a row.

Junior forward Eamon Whelan scored with just over seven minutes remaining in the match to tie it at one, before the two teams took to extra time. UMass Lowell’s senior forward Ivan Abramovic scored the lone goal for the Riverhawks.

“It was a great early test for us,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “We always put ourselves in the position where we’re going to be challenged and UMass is a really good team.

The first half opened with a couple of Quinnipiac defensive breakdowns early on that led to quality, but empty chances for the Riverhawks. Quinnipiac junior goaltender Chrysostomos Iakovidis made multiple point-blank stops, one early against junior midfielder Roko Prsa and one late in the first half against sophomore forward Mayele Malongo.

In the second half, UMass Lowell’s senior back Franky Martinez found Abramovic near the net and the Croatian made no mistake, potting it in the left corner passed Iakovidis.

“Certainly we’re going to look at the goal and probably have some doubt about that and how we conceded it,” Da Costa said. “Maybe it was a little bit too soft.”

In the final minutes of play, a quick look by junior defense Jeppe Haehre saw Whelan in the box. Off of Haehre’s pass, Whelan headed the ball passed the Riverhawk goaltender, senior Zach Rowell, to knot the game up at one. It was his second goal of the season, making him the only Bobcat so far to find the back of the net.

The team’s took to extra time, and despite some good looks on both sides, the score remained 1-1 as the final. Iakovidis came up clutch for the Bobcats, securing eight of his 13 saves in the extra time period to hold on for the draw.

“[Iakovidis] made a lot of saves, especially late in the second half,” Da Costa said. “In overtime he made some saves that kept us in the game. It was a good performance from Chrys today and we’re proud of what he did.”

For Whelan, this beginning of the season is showing sign of his freshman campaign, when he led the team with 11 goals. After a tough sophomore year where he battled injury and only scored twice, the start he has had this year shows the recovery he has made.

“I think [Whelan] is exactly where we want him to be,” Da Costa said. “He’s physically matured and he’s done well in the weight room, putting some mass on that helps him in some 50/50 challenges. He’s put the work in. Last year was really difficult for him personally and obviously us as a team. He had some really good looks today and put one away.”

UMass Lowell has provided to be a formiddable foe the last few years. Quinnipiac has played the Riverhawks for three consecutive years and have yet to come out victorious — a loss and two ties round out the results. But Da Costa had a lot of positives to take away from the draw.

“For them to fight back and put ourselves in the position in the last 20 minutes to not only get the goal, but have one or two more right there, I think that shows the character of this young team and where we are right now,” Da Costa said.

Quinnipiac will take its 0-1-1 record to Philadelphia, with the next matchup at St. Joe’s University next Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

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