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Five things you need to know about Quinnipiac’s OT loss to UConn

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Dylan Fearon

It was a brutal ending to what was a gutsy, rugged performance from the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team on Monday. The Bobcats allowed a goal to Connecticut four minutes into overtime to break a scoreless tie in Storrs. Here are five takeaways from the Bobcats second regular season game.

Strong first 15-20 minutes

After a 4-0 loss to Boston College last week with three goals coming in the first 23 minutes, it was important for Quinnipiac not to let UConn dictate the pace and control possession. The Bobcats kept possession for several stretches and fought hard to win loose balls. Over the first 20 minutes, Quinnipiac matched everything UConn brought: possession, corners and set pieces from decent spots on the field, you name it. It was definitely the start the Bobcats were looking for when they stepped onto the bus to head to Storrs.

Eric Da Costa: “I thought the boys came out and had a great response. When you a hold team scoreless for that long, there are lot of positives to take out of it. A big portion of that first half we were very good. Certainly early on we deserved a little bit more.”

Holding a top 25 team scoreless for 90+ minutes

UConn did not intimidate Quinnipiac by any means. The Huskies are ranked 24th in the first NCAA Division I college soccer rankings of the year and sported a loud crowd on a chilly Monday night. Still trying to get some rust off and probably a little tired from a strenuous preseason, the Bobcats held their own for nearly 95 minutes with one of the nation’s top teams. They had a few chances against the Huskies, albeit just one shot on goal.

Da Costa: “For us it was about the response (from the BC game) and we picked ourselves up and came out and really gave it a go. Second half they put us under a lot of pressure and legs started to show a little bit. I think we showed some really good character tonight.”

James Doig: “I thought we held a lot of possession, created a lot of good chances. I didn’t see (UConn) creating many shots on goal, yet they went away with the win. You can be the best team, but if you don’t win, you don’t win.”

Paulo Soares shining early

The freshman from Quincy, Massachusetts has played every second this season. He’s a crafty, athletic midfielder who didn’t seem daunted by the challenge of playing UConn on its own field. He’s only 5 foot 7 inches tall, but he stands out amongst the other 21 players on the field. Soares is quick, fights for loose balls and was physical all night long against larger Husky players. If he keeps this up, he could be in the starting lineup for a very long time.

Da Costa: “He’s been fantastic. One thing about Paulo that is very evident early on is that he doesn’t play like a freshman. He covers a ton of ground, he commits himself to the team and he puts in a shift and then some. We’re really happy with the effort he’s put in.”

Chris Iakovidis impresses after BC loss

He gave up four goals to the Eagles to start the season, but the sophomore goalkeeper looked like a veteran against UConn. Iakovidis was in constant communication with a defense that he has now played with for over a year. He handled the crowd and atmosphere as well as Da Costa could’ve hoped for and made two crucial saves in the second half to keep the Huskies off the board. Heading into his second year as the starter it’s clear he has grown, improved and shown he can be a stalwart in net for Quinnipiac.

Doig: “I thought he had a great game. Not so much he could do about the goal. It was a three yard blast but he did very well.”

Da Costa: “It was the response we wanted from the entire team, from Chris all the way up to Rashawn and Eamon. We got that tonight from every player. Very pleased with the response.”

Still in search of first goal

Quinnipiac has still not found the back of the net in 184 minutes this season. The first goal always seems to be the hardest; breaking through for the first time and getting it out of the way. The Bobcats’ next chance is the home opener in their brand new stadium on Sept. 2 against Saint Josephs.

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