HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's soccer team became the second team to clinch a spot in the 2013 MAAC Championships on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats played Saint Peter's to a 0-0 draw through double overtime at the QU Soccer Field. Quinnipiac needed just one point to solidify a spot in the final four and earned the tally on Senior Day from Mount Carmel Campus.
Quinnipiac will at least join Monmouth in the tournament, as the Hawks clinched last week and currently lead the Bobcats by three points in the standings. Iona has 16 points while Manhattan has 14 and Fairfield has 11. Saint Peter's moved to 3-8-5 overall and 1-4-3 in league play, but was eliminated from playoff contention with the result.
"I thought it was a little bit frustrating," said head coach Eric Da Costa when asked about the game. "We were frustrated because we had some good chances and some good looks, and a lot of good possession at times, and we want to be able to convert on those chances. So it was a little frustrating but at the end of the day we knew we needed a point to secure our playoff spot and we did that today. That was our first goal, to finish in the top four, and we accomplished that goal today. We're ecstatic about that."
Frustrating was certainly a good word to describe the game, considering Quinnipiac's sizeable advantage in both shots and corner kicks. The Bobcats outshot SPU, 14-7, overall and earned a 16-2 edge in corner kicks as well. However, the Bobcats forced the SPU goalkeeper, David Giddings, to make just two saves on the afternoon.
Quinnipiac best chances came in the second half of play, where the home team rattled the crossbar on two separate occasions. First, in the 51st minute, Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) lined up a free-kick from 25-yards out and ripped a shot to the far right post. Giddings was clearly beat on the attempt, but much to the dismay of Nicol, the ball ricocheted off the bar and out of play for a goal kick. Minutes later Saint Peter's nearly gave QU a 1-0 lead on an own goal, but the ball deflected off the crossbar and out for a corner kick.
Nonetheless, Quinnipiac was never really in danger of losing the point due to a stellar defensive effort. Led by junior goal keeper Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain), the Bobcats posted another clean sheet to preserve the result. Angoitia made two saves in the win, and now holds on to sole possession of second place in three goalkeeping categories – shutouts (14), goals against average (1.17) and wins (22) – at Quinnipiac.
Prior to the start of the game, Quinnipiac honored its senior class members - Jason Vancura, Ola Ogunjobi, Sam Nicol, Simon Hinde and Brandon Strain-Goode and presented each of them with a plaque as a token of appreciation.
Quinnipiac is back in action next week with its final two games of the regular season. The Bobcats travel to Siena College on Wednesday, Nov. 6 (3 p.m.) and then head to Rider for the regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 9 (7 p.m.).
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