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Quinnipiac men’s soccer drops another close game, falls 1-0 to Iona

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Sierra Goodwill

For the fifth time this season the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team lost 1-0.

This time the victors were the Iona Gaels, a team with an identical Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record (2-2) as the Bobcats heading in to Wednesday’s game at the Quinnipiac Soccer Stadium.

Quinnipiac fired off 14 shots compared to Iona’s six, and controlled possession throughout. This just makes the loss that much harder to swallow for the Bobcats.

“You fight for 90 minutes, but one mental lapse goes to show that you can lose a game in one moment,” senior defenseman Will Pustari said. “The frustrating thing isn’t losing, but losing when you’re battling this hard, putting in so much work and not getting the result.”

In the first half, Quinnipiac had three solid chances to find the back of the net. But the story of the season has been its inability to finish.

“We were the dominating team for the whole game,” senior midfielder Max Rothenbuecher said. “We couldn’t capitalize on our chances.”

The Bobcats came into the second half with an offensive mindset. They were pinching the field and trying to get as many players crashing the net as possible. That is when the Gaels caught them on their heels.

Four minutes in Killian Colombie finished a cross sent in from his teammate to give Iona a one goal cushion.

“I think we were a little too impatient defensively on the left side,” Rothenbuecher said. “They played us in a smart way, then just crossed it in.”

The Bobcats head coach echoed a similar message.

“There were quite a few mental lapses,” Eric Da Costa said. “Our players stepping to the ball in the wrong areas, the ball goes out for a throw in and we don’t step to free players.”

Perhaps the defining moment of the game came with under 10 minutes to play.

Quinnipiac’s star forward Eamon Whelan was crashing the net when he was tackled by three Iona defenders in the box. Based on reactions, it seemed like everyone at the field was expecting a penalty shot.

There was no call from the referees, and the Bobcats’ bench erupted.

“From my perspective it was a penalty,” Rothenbuecher said. “I guess I have to look back at the video. I clearly heard a touch, but you never know. The referee had the whistle in his mouth so it seemed like he wanted to give the penalty. Obviously frustrating that we didn’t get it.”

That was not the first time the players had a disagreement with the officials in this contest. The chippiness and physicality was evident between the two programs all game long. Quinnipiac received three yellow cards, while Iona got two yellows and one red card.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they only got to play a man up for less than a minute.

“There’s some history there between us and Iona,” Da Costa said. “I don’t think there is any love lost between the players on both programs, in a respectful way. We knew it was going to be a tough match and players were going to give a little extra because there is that rivalry there between the two clubs.”

Number 10 reiterated the same sentiment.

“They’re always a team who is playing to win the MAAC just like we are,” Rothenbuecher said. “Obviously, you can expect it is a more physical game.”

Quinnipiac now holds a 2-3 record in the MAAC and hits the road to face the first place Manhattan Jaspers on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Da Costa’s game plan is quite straightforward.

“We have to win. It’s that simple.”

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