The New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders opened its season with a 1-0 loss at Siena on Saturday, August 30. Siena scored on a header in the 80th minute to beat NJIT in their season opener. Highlanders' goalkeeper Josh Osit made five saves to keep the game close before surrendering the difference-maker. Erik Magnusson led NJIT in scoring last season with six goals and two assists for 14 points and was held pointless and to just one shot against Siena.
Home Sweet Home
Wednesday's game marks the beginning of the Bobcats' home schedule. Quinnipiac only lost one game at home last season, in the final game of the season against Iona. In the seven previous home contests the Bobcats had not lost and posted a 2-0-5 mark. After winning the first two games of the season at home, Quinnipiac tied its next five home contests, including four against NEC opponents.
Graciano Brito (Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde) began his senior season by scoring two goals against Iona in the Bobcats' season opener. The 2007 NEC Player of the Year and last year's Quinnipiac Male Athlete of the Year tied for the conference lead in goals after despite playing in only one game. His four points are also good for a tie atop the conference leader board.
Brito was named the first NEC Player of Week this season. His two goals against the Gaels were good enough for the senior to claim his fourth career NEC Player of the Week accolade. Brito is one of two Bobcats receive the honor in the past two seasons after not having had a player win it since 2001.
Junior captain Shane Recklet (Shelton, Conn.) scored the Bobcats' second goal against the Gaels in the 80th minute off a corner kick. Recklett headed the ball into the top right corner past the Iona goalkeeper to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game. The goal proved to be the game-winner and was the first of Recklett's career.
Pierre Soubrier (Aurignac, France) set up Recklet's goal with a corner kick into the box from the right side. Rodrigo Uchoa's (Brasilia, Brazil) assist on Brito's second goal of the game put the match out of reach at 3-1 with just over five minutes remaining. Uchoa used a touch pass to get the ball behind two Iona defenders where Brito picked it up and rolled the ball past Iona's Nils Binstock.
See It, Stop It
Quinnipiac goalkeeper Freddy Hall (St. George, Bermuda) recorded six saves in the season's first game. After the Gaels got on the board late in the first half, Hall made four saves in the second. Those four saves enabled the Bobcats to mount a comeback with three second-half goals.
Head coach Eric Da Costa has led the Bobcats to its second consecutive season-opening win. Last season his team defeated Northeastern in its first game with two first half goals. The 2008 season opener required the Bobcats to rally after falling behind 1-0 at halftime for the 3-1 win. It was the third win since the beginning of last season after allowing an opponent to score first.