Men's Soccer Opens 2014 Season at Lakeside Classic against Northwestern and Northern Illinois this Weekend

Quinnipiac University (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MAAC) at
Northwestern University (0-0-0, 0-0-0 BIG 10)
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 • 8:00 PM EST
Lakeside Field • Evanston, Illinois
All-Time Series vs. NU (DI): 0-0 (0-0)
Last Meeting: First Meeting

Quinnipiac University (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MAAC) at
Northern Illinois (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MAC)
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 • 12:00 PM EST
Lakeside Field • Evanston, Illinois
All-Time Series vs. NIU (DI): 0-0 (0-0)
Last Meeting: First Meeting

The Quinnipiac men's soccer team takes the field on Friday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 31 in their first action of the 2014 season. The Bobcats will have their hands full as the squad travels to Chicago, Illinois for a showdown with the Northwestern Wildcats and Northern Illinois Huskies at the Sheraton Chicago-Northbrook Lakeside Classic. Both games will be held at Northwestern's own Lakeside Field. Kickoff with NU is set for 8 p.m. EST on Friday with a 12 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Fans who would like to follow all the action live can do so through multimedia links online. Live stats will be available for Quinnipiac's match against Northwestern on Friday evening and Sunday morning for the Northern Illinois game.    

Quinnipiac will face both Northwestern and Northern Illinois for the first time in program history.

The Wildcats finished last season at 10-8-3 and advanced to their eighth NCAA Tournament where they lost to Bradley in the first round. The Northwestern men's soccer team has been selected to finish sixth in the 2014 Big Ten Conference preseason poll, according to a vote of the league's 10 head coaches. The Wildcats have six newcomers to its 2014 roster, a group that features five freshmen and one transfer. They will look to senior goalkeeper and MAC Hermann Trophy Watch list selection, Tyler Miller to lead the Wildcat defense.

Northern Illinois completed their 2013 campaign with a 4-13-1 record. NIU will look to 2013 leading scorer and senior Isaac Kannah for offensive production. Kannah scored six goals and recorded 13 points on his way to being named to the All-MAC Second Team. Both Kannah and fellow senior Dusty Page were named to the College Sports Madness preseason all-conference team. The Huskies have nine newcomers to its 2014 roster, a group including eight freshmen and one transfer.

The Quinnipiac University men's soccer team was tabbed second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Rk.         Teams (Pts.)
1.            Monmouth (112)
2             Quinnipiac (101)
3.            Iona (98)
4.            Fairfield (90)
5.            Manhattan (64)
6.            Siena (62)
7.            Canisius (57)
8.            Rider (49)
9.            Marist (35)
10.          Niagara (32)
11.          Saint Peter's (26)

The Bobcats saw three players recognized by the All-MAAC preseason team. Goalkeeper Borja Angoitia earned recognition for the second consecutive season after being named MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013. Angoitia posted a record of 7-4-7 and was 17th in the country with a .698 goals against average as a junior. He also set a new program record with 10 shutouts and finished second in QU single-season history with his goals against average (0.70) and tied for sixth with a .843 save percentage. Defender Tobias Esche also found his name on the list after being named to the All-MAAC First Team last season. Esche recorded a goal and two assists while aiding fellow captain Angoitia in leading Quinnipiac's stellar defense. Senior forward Machel Baker finished the year second on the team in points (10) and goals (4) while adding two assists. Baker's play led to him being selected to the All-MAAC Second Team and finding a spot on this year's preseason team.

With the help of captains Angoitia and Esche, QU will look to center back Erik Panzer and outside backs Ashton Pett and Stevenson Hawkey to complete the defensive unit that recorded 11 clean sheets last year.

In addition to Baker, returnees, All-Rookie Team selection James Doig and senior Raphael Carvalho (Danbury, Conn.) will anchor the middle of the field for the Bobcats. Doig started in all 19 games he appeared in and handed out three assists, while Carvalho started in all 21 games and had one assist. These three will look to fill the void left by departed All-MAAC First Teamer and points leader Simon Hinde (10 goals, one assist) and assist leader and All-MAAC Second Teamer, Sam Nicol (two goals, four assists).

The 2013 Quinnipiac University men's soccer team (9-5-7, 7-1-2 MAAC) won six straight games to close out the regular-season and claimed a share of the MAAC title. Needing a win in their final game, senior co-captain Simon Hinde found the back of the net in the 105th minute of an overtime thriller against Rider. The Bobcats earned their second straight regular season title after winning the Northeast last year and garnering the first title in program history.

Quinnipiac improved to a 9-4-5 overall record before heading into the conference tournament. The nine wins are tied for the second most wins in a single-season during the Division I era, and third most all-time. They began postseason play as the number two seed and were set to face number three Iona in a semifinal matchup. The game entered penalty kicks tied at one before the Bobcats pulled out a narrow shootout victory (7-6). In the MAAC Championship against number one seed Monmouth, Quinnipiac saw penalty kick action for the second consecutive game. After regulation and two overtimes, the score remained at zero before the MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year, Borja Angoitia saved two penalty shots and sealed a 4-3 win.

Quinnipiac will see its first action at home next week with a pair of games at the QU Soccer Field. The Bobcats welcome Boston College on Thursday, Sept. 4 (4 PM) before hosting Providence College on Sunday, Sept. 7 (2:30 PM).