RIVERDALE, N.Y. – The Quinnipiac University men's soccer team extended its winning streak to four straight games and its unbeaten streak to six, as the Bobcats defeated Manhattan College, 2-0, at Gaelic Park on Wednesday night. With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 6-3-4 overall and remained undefeated in conference play (4-0-1).
Just a day removed its release, the North Atlantic Regional poll jumped Quinnipiac seven spots – and certainly with good reason. Since their loss to Hartford back in September, the Bobcats are 5-0-1 overall and have garnered 13 points in MAAC action. Dating back to last season, Quinnipiac is 12-1-3 in games played after Sept. 24, and 11-1-3 against conference opposition.
Generally reliant on its defense, Quinnipiac's offense seems to have come to life at the right time. The Bobcats put home two goals in back-to-back games for the first time since scoring twice against Providence and Boston College. Both goals against Manhattan came in the first half, which they also did last time out against Canisius.
The Bobcats opened the scoring summary in the 22nd minute when Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) scored his second career goal. Scoring for the second consecutive game, Nicol dispossessed a Manhattan defender and then saw his blast from 25 yards out find the upper part of the goal for a 1-0 lead. He has five points in the last two games.
Quinnipiac's second goal came 15 minutes later, when Machel Baker (Spanish Town, Jamaica) returned to the score sheet after some time off with an injury. Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia), one of the MAAC's most potent offensive players, converted good defense into offense for the game's second tally. Hinde forced a turnover in Jaspers' territory and found Baker in front of the goal for the 2-0 lead. It was Baker's third goal of the season and Hinde's team-leading 15th point of the 2013 campaign.
The two goal cushion was more than enough for the Bobcat defense. Quinnipiac posted its seventh shutout of the season, due in large part to five saves from senior goalkeeper Jason Vancura (Whitman, Mass.). Vancura collected his first career clean sheet and improved to 2-0 on the season. His counterpart, Alex Coates McDowell, made two saves in the losing effort.
Quinnipiac and Manhattan have met just three times since the Bobcats joined the NCAA's highest division back in 1998. The first meeting was back in 2005 when Quinnipiac claimed a 2-1 victory in Hamden. The second meeting took place a year later, in which the Jaspers evened the series with a 2-1 triumph of their own. Quinnipiac is now 2-1 all-time against Manhattan.
The Bobcats are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 26 in West Long Branch, N.J. Monmouth and Quinnipiac, the league's two remaining unbeaten teams, square off at 7 p.m. on The Great Lawn on MU's campus.
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