Scheiderman’s goal secures 1-0 win over Fairfield, Bobcats clinch MAAC regular season title

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Andrew Badillo

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics 

By: MJ Baird

FAIRFIELD- The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title with its 1-0 win over Fairfield on Wednesday.

With the win, the Bobcats (12-6, 8-2 MAAC) earned the right to host the semifinal and championship games, as well a bye to the semifinal round.

“This isn’t the end for us,” senior Ryan Scheiderman said before his team mobbed him in excitement after the game.

If the regular season championship isn’t going to be the end for Quinnipiac, the Bobcats need to use the upcoming weekend to get healthy and get their starting 11 back in order.

Senior James Doig was dressed for today’s game and warmed up with the reserves prior to the game, yet did not see any action. He suffered a right arm injury almost three weeks ago against Monmouth, and had been sidelined wearing a sling up until Wednesday’s contest.

Additionally, sophomore Rashawn Dally was subbed out of the game with less than ten minutes remaining in the first half, and did not return after receiving treatment from the trainer on his left hamstring.

As for whether the two would be back come the conference semifinals, head coach Eric Da Costa gave no indication.

“We are just going to enjoy today, that fact that we just won a regular season championship, and we are going to rest,” Da Costa said. “Then we start thinking about what is next after that.”

The Bobcats also missed three players on Wednesday who were serving one game suspensions for receiving red cards last week. Connor McCoy, Filosmar Cordeiro, and Evan Hughes were all forced to sit this one out, forcing Da Costa to find backup players to fill their void.

“We only had 13 available field players (tonight). But we have said it all year, we are a group of 24 players, and everyone has a role to play,” Da Costa said.

Da Costa shuffled up his players accordingly. Alex Ossa and Christian Casagranda got their first starts of the season, and Liam O’Sulllivan picked up his second starting nod. William Pustari, a junior defender typically on the back line, jumped up into the midfield position to fill a gap in the formation.

According to Da Costa, each player who stepped in did what they were asked, and all his players “left every piece of energy they had on the field,” a necessity in a game with such crucial MAAC implications.

Ultimately the game was decided by only one goal, yet the Bobcats had upwards of six golden chances in the first 25 minutes of the game. Rashawn Dally, before getting subbed out, was able to beat the Fairfield back line on four separate occasions. Dally attempted four shots, many from prime scoring areas, but struggled to find the back of the net.

The lone goal in the contest however came off a free kick for the Bobcats. A foul was called just outside the 18-yard box on Stags keeper Joe Martin, and Scheiderman did not waste the opportunity.

“It is something that Matt (Taylor), Junior (Cordeiro), and I have been working on in training and it just ended up happening here today,” Scheiderman said.

The senior curved his shot left to right over the Fairfield player wall and into the bottom corner of the net past the outstretched arms of Martin.

The first half tally was enough for the Bobcats to hold on and emerge victorious, even with a strong second half push from the Stags. Fairfield attempted seven second-half shots and four corner kicks in the final frame, forcing Bobcats goaltender Chrysostomos Iakovidis to make five total saves on the evening.

The win not only means three MAAC titles in four years for the Bobcats, but a complete reversal from last season. In the 2015 campaign, Da Costa’s squad finished the season in 10th out of eleven teams in the conference, and earned only one win in the MAAC.

“Finishing off the regular season the way they (team) did today, it is a tremendous accomplishment and I am proud to be their coach,” Da Costa said.

Similar to the 2014 season, Quinnipiac will host the MAAC tournament. This not only means the Bobcat players get to sleep in their own beds, eat their own food, but also proceed with their regular routines.

However Da Costa and Scheiderman had different opinions on the importance of having home field advantage.

“I don’t think home field matters,” Da Costa said. “You get into a playoff situation and yes it is nice to have the confines of your surroundings but distractions also come with it. When you are on the road you can control the environment a lot more than when you are at home.”

However the senior forward thinks quite differently.

“That is one of the most important parts. We have a routine at home and we are used to being there. We will have all of our fans, all of our friends there at the game. It’s big for us,” Scheiderman said.

No matter who’s opinion is shared by more of the team, the Bobcats will be playing at home, but not for eight days. The conference quarterfinals will be held at the home site of the higher seed this weekend, and the Bobcats will have to wait to see who they will play following the bye.

The lowest seed to advance between Siena, Marist, Canisius and Monmouth will matchup against the Bobcats on November 11 at the Quinnipiac soccer field Quinnipiac University’s Mount Carmel campus.