Men's Soccer Edged By Hartford, 2-1, In Non-Conference Tilt

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – For the second consecutive game, the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team featured the better team on the pitch but couldn't come away with the victory. The Hartford Hawks outlasted the Bobcats, 2-1, at Al-Marzook Stadium on Wednesday night, a result that ended in a third straight loss for QU. Senior forward Philip Suprise (Milwaukee, Wis.) scored his fifth straight goal in the intrastate clash.

Quinnipiac (2-4) broke through first in just the sixth minute of action, when Suprise and the Bobcats used a bit of luck for the game's first tally. Suprise's blast from 25 yards out took a fortuitous deflection off of a Hawk defender, and snuck inside the left post for a 1-0 advantage. Suprise's 22nd career goal moves him into eighth place all-time at QU, and gives him 52 points which is good enough for 10th place all-time.

The lead was short-lived however, as the hosting Hawks needed just 10 seconds to find the equalizer. Hartford raced down the field after the ensuing kickoff, where junior forward Anthony Santaga capitalized on a miscue inside the Bobcats' penalty box. Santaga's fourth goal of the season knotted the game up at one apiece with 38 minutes remaining in the first half.

The game went back-and-forth for the next half-hour, until freshman standout Javoni Simms granted the Hawks their first lead of the contest. Simms found himself with the ball at his feet and room to work at the top off the 18-yard box. His left-footed blast slid underneath Borja Angoitia's (Bilbao, Spain) outstretched arms for his seventh goal of the season and a 2-1 Hartford lead. Eight minutes later the halftime whistle sounded, sending the Hawks into the locker room with a one-goal advantage.

After the intermission, the Bobcats looked to erase the deficit with two great chances just 10 minutes into the second stanza. Both chances came off the right foot of Ola Ogunjobi (London, England), who created back-to-back chances inside the Hawks' penalty area. Unfortunately, his first strike missed wide to the left and his second blast sailed just over the crossbar, leaving Hartford's one-goal lead intact.

Nonetheless, momentum and possession favored Quinnipiac, and carried out through the remainder of regulation. The Bobcats next chance came in the 75th minute, when junior Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia) brought the crowd to its feet with a tremendous individual effort. Hinde controlled the ball in the middle of the field and decided to line up a blast from 30 yards out. Struck perfectly, his blast whistled past the Hawks' goalkeeper, destined for the back of the net. However, the ball rattled the woodwork and landed at the foot of a defender to be cleared from danger.

The Bobcats' final chance came inside of two minutes, when senior William Daniels (Clackamas, Ore.) took a crack from the top of the 18-yard box. His attempt grazed the outside of the left post and out for a goal kick. Hartford's defense buckled down for the waning seconds as the home team prevailed for a fourth straight win. The triumph also evened up the all-time series at 5-5-2.

Angoitia made one save on the evening, while Viltsu Tuumi turned aside three shots for the Hawks. Quinnipiac outshot Hartford, 15-8, including a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.

The Bobcats return to the pitch this weekend with Alumni Day on Saturday, September 19 at the QU Soccer Field. Former Quinnipiac players reunite with the present Bobcats for a friendly game at 10 a.m., followed by a non-conference showdown against Vermont at 2 p.m.

Prior to the contest with the Catamounts, the Quinnipiac Department of Athletics and Recreation will honor Brian Vincent, class of 1986, a beloved member of the QU community who passed away in February of 2011. Brian Vincent was a soccer hall of famer who always treasured the opportunity to come back to play in the annual alumni soccer game. The endowment will be used to fund the Brian Vincent '86 Memorial Men's Soccer Alumni Game, with the inaugural match set for Saturday morning.   

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012 Quinnipiac Men's Soccer Schedule will also be available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu