November 4, 2012

Men’s Soccer Wins First-Ever NEC Regular-Season Title; Tops Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-0, In Winner-Take-All Match

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HAMDEN, Conn. – Senior William Cavallo (Londonderry, N.H.) scored a goal in each half on Sunday afternoon, as the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team clinched its first-ever Northeast Conference Regular-Season Title with a 3-0 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson at the QU Soccer Field on Mount Carmel Campus. With the win, the Bobcats improved to 10-5-2 overall, 8-1-1 in league play, and will host the NEC Tournament next weekend.

"It's a great achievement for the team and I'm proud of these boys for the effort that they have put in all year," said head coach Eric Da Costa, who earned his fourth NEC Tournament bid at the helm of the program. "We started off not as well as we would have liked to in our non-conference slate, knowing we had a difficult NEC schedule, but the boys believed in each other, kept believing in what we do, how we play and persevered in the end."

Quinnipiac will host the #4 seeded Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash on Friday, November 9 in the NEC Semifinals. Fairleigh Dickinson suffered its first conference loss and fell to the #2 seed. The Knights will take on the #3 seeded Monmouth Hawks in the other semifinal match-up that same day. The times of the games have yet to be determined.

After the Senior Day ceremonies, the first half of action featured a dream start for the hosting Bobcats - who mustered two goals in the opening stanza. In the 29th minute of play, Philip Suprise (Milwaukee, Wis.) corralled the ball in the left corner of the field and whipped a left-footed cross into the middle of the penalty area. Sprinting to the box on the far side of the field was his fellow classmate William Cavallo, who found the back of the net with a diving header for a 1-0 lead. Cavallo was credited his second goal of the season and the fifth game-winning tally of his career.

With an electric crowd on the sideline, the Bobcats fed off of the energy and didn't waste much time adding to their lead. Some 12 minutes later, Robbie McLarney played a perfect through-ball in behind the FDU backline, where Suprise took a touch around goalkeeper Jacob Lissek and laced a left-footed blast into the far corner for a two-goal cushion. Quinnipiac exhausted the waning minutes of the first half and carried a commanding 2-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After the break, defense became the name of the game for Quinnipiac. FDU pressed forward in search for its first goal, but sophomore Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain) and the Bobcats' defense continued its dominance behind the ball. Angoitia made three saves to preserve the shutout and became the first goalkeeper since Freddy Hall (2009) to earn 10 wins in a season.  

The Bobcats added another insurance goal in the 81st minute, when Cavallo found the back of the net a second time on an unassisted tally. Cavallo collected a loose ball in the FDU defensive zone, dribbled towards the goal on the left-side and beat Lissek to the near-post for a 3-0 lead. Cavallo picked up his first career multi-goal game in the process.

On the second goal of the game, Suprise collected his 25th career goal and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list. He now has 59 career points and moved into 15th place all-time in assists with the helper in the first goal of the game.

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 is also 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