Quinnipiac men’s soccer falls in MAAC Championship to Rider, 1-0

By on November 11, 2018

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Rider was crowned the 2018 men’s soccer MAAC Champion after its 1-0 victory over Quinnipiac in Sunday’s match at Quinnipiac Soccer Stadium.

“We did everything we could,” Quinnipiac’s head coach Erica Da Costa said of his team’s effort today. “We didn’t quite get the bounces that maybe we got in past games this year, and that’s the difference.”

Da Costa summed it up nicely, as Quinnipiac found trouble trying to start anything offensively all day. The ball was shared mostly between Quinnipiac defenders in their own half of the field, with very little forward progress being made.

The lone goal of the day came in the 54th minute of the game. Rider’s junior forward Clement Bourret fed sophomore forward Pablo DeCastro, who was able to sneak the ball just passed Quinnipiac sophomore goalkeeper Jared Mazzola for his first goal of the season.

The overwhelming feeling after the game was disappointment on the Bobcats sideline, but that was quickly replaced with reflection. Players and coaches alike reflected on the year they just went through as a team, as well as the game they had just played.

“If you’re going to lose a final (this was the way to do it),” Da Costa said, “To leave everything on the field like we did today and put everything that we could into the game to try to get back and tie the match, and hopefully go on and win the match, I can’t ask anything more from these guys.”

The game was hard fought all the way through, and the Bobcat players let it show. Their emotions on the field were felt throughout the stadium, with frustration and excitement boiling over at points. Quinnipiac earned three yellow cards and one red card on its way to defeat, playing hard until the clock hit triple zeros.

For the seniors, the game was especially emotional, as it was the last of their Quinnipiac careers. Senior defender and captain Derek Parker took the time to reflect on his final game.

“It’s a bit of a heart breaker, you know?” Parker said. “To go through a long season and come up this short, it’s tough.”

He was able to take positives away as well, reflecting not only on this one game but his Quinnipiac career and this season as a whole.

“It’s always a special honor being captain,” Parker said. “And then when you get to captain a team that’s as successful as we are and as close as we are, I wouldn’t give anything up and I would do this year all over again, no matter the end result.”

He had more to say about the season, reflecting on this year’s team and how they were able to find success despite a slow start.

“Absolutely a success,” Parker said. “Whenever you can make it to a final and give your team an opportunity to win, it has to be a successful year.”

Da Costa agreed, mentioning that in his 14 years as head coach, this season has to be close to the top. Following the defeat, he remained a class act as he was all season. Despite this being Quinnipiac’s second loss in a finals match in the past three years, Da Costa found ways to stay positive and congratulate his opponent.

While he did remain private about what was discussed during his long embrace with Rider head coach Charlie Inverso after the game, he did share his thoughts on the 2018 MAAC champions.

“They’re a deserving champion,” Da Costa said of the visiting Rider Broncs. “Four straight appearances in the final, they’ve got some real quality. The seniors have done a great job over the course of four years.”

Da Costa shared that he believes it’s too early to start thinking about next season, but with eight seniors departing after today’s game, he’ll have to do some serious planning sometime soon. For now, though, it’s about accepting and coming to terms with this defeat.

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