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HAMDEN, Conn. – Coming off arguably the most decorated season in program history, the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team has made significant progress this spring in preparation for the 2014 campaign. The Bobcats are undefeated through five games thus far, and will wrap up their six-game slate on Saturday, April 26 against Post University. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. at the QU Soccer Field.
"This spring has gone very well for us so far," said head coach Eric Da Costa. "Every player on our roster has seen significant minutes and many of them have seen their stock rise. As as staff we were particularly interested in the group's attitude coming off of a banner year. These guys have picked up right where they left off. The work rate is tremendous and their quality of play has been good. We are very happy with where we stand and only wish we didn't have to break for the summer."
Quinnipiac's spring schedule featured teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference, Northeast Conference and East Coast Conference. Quinnipiac posted a record of 2-0-3, once again spearheaded by a highly touted defensive unit. Led by MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain), the Bobcats surrendered just one goal and registered shutouts in four of the five games.
On the other side of the pitch, Quinnipiac produced a balanced attack that saw four players in the scoring column during the five-game stint. Raphael Carvalho (Danbury, Conn.) scored twice, while Machel Baker (Spanish Town, Jamaica), Tobias Esche (Bremen, Germany) and Simon Brossier (Jallais, France) each had one apiece. Baker was second on the team in scoring last season with four goals and two assists, and will likely be the focal point of the attack this fall.
|QU Spring Goal Scorers||Goals|
The schedule began on Saturday, March 29 when Quinnipiac took on two Atlantic 10 opponents in Rhode Island and UMass. Quinnipiac posted shutouts in both games, beginning with a 1-0 victory over the Rams. Carvalho, who started in all 21 games last season, collected the game-winner for the Bobcats. The second game featured a defensive stalemate that resulted in a 0-0 tie. UMass qualified for the A-10 Tournament a year ago, falling short to Saint Louis in the quarterfinals.
After that, Quinnipiac squared off against some familiar faces in Connecticut. Quinnipiac worked a 0-0 draw with longstanding NEC rival Sacred Heart – its third straight shutout – and then played Bridgeport to a 1-1 tie at Knights Field. Brossier netted the lone goal for the Bobcats in the match.
In the fifth game, a potent offense combined with a suffocating defense paved the path to a 3-0 victory at Central Connecticut State University. Baker, Carvalho and Esche each scored in the win, as Quinnipiac coasted to a comfortable win against a CCSU squad that was 6-1 in NEC play last season.
Expectations are high for Quinnipiac in 2014. Quinnipiac loses just four players to graduation, and brings back all five members of its defensive unit in 2014. Quinnipiac, who finished with a 9-5-7 overall record in 2013, led the league in shutouts (11), goals against average (0.70) and goals allowed (16) last year. Quinnipiac earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance after advancing by way of penalty kicks in the MAAC Championship game. The Bobcats knocked off top-seeded Monmouth, 4-3, and earned a first round clash with nationally-ranked No. 10 UConn.
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