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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Fresh off one of the best seasons in program history, the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team began its quest for a second straight regular season title at Providence College on Friday afternoon. Despite a goal apiece from Machel Baker (Spanish Town, Jamaica) and Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia), the Bobcats couldn't overcome a two-goal deficit in the second half, falling short by a final count of 3-2 at Glay Field on PC's campus.
Quinnipiac (0-1) was led by its junior striker, Baker, who registered a goal and an assist in the losing effort. Hinde recorded the other goal for the Bobcats, who saw contributions from four new faces on the field. Tobi Esche (Bremen, Germany), Raphael Carvalho (Danbury, Conn.), Ryan Scheiderman (Brick, N.J.) and Ashton Pett (Auckland, New Zealand) made their collegiate debuts for Quinnipiac.
"We set high standards for ourselves so we are obviously dissapointed with the result, but there were many positives to take away with us," said ninth-year head coach Eric Da Costa after the game.
The opening 45 minutes saw a pair of goals, one on each side. After a half hour of scoreless soccer, Providence (1-0) opened the scoring summary with a tally in the 30th minute with a blast from 13-yards out on the right side. Julian Gressel received a pass in behind the Bobcat defense from Fabio Machado, and ripped a shot inside of the far post for a 1-0 lead.
The one-goal lead was short-lived however, as the 5-foot-11 forward from Spanish Town, Jamaica took full advantage of his first opportunity of the game. Just three minutes later in the 33rd minute, Quinnipiac worked the ball deep into the Friars' territory, where a series of deflections resulted in the Bobcats' first goal. Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) had his initial shot blocked, but the rebound found its way to the foot Baker who slammed home the equalizer. Quinnipiac and Providence would take the 1-1 deadlock into halftime.
After the break in action, the home team quickly regained the lead with a pair of goals just five minutes into the second frame. The first goal came off the foot of Wilder Arboleda, a 2012 All-BIG EAST honoree, who put the Friars in front with a blast from 20 yards out in the 48th minute. Less than two minutes later, Providence struck again – this time on a set-piece from the left side of the field. Dominik Machado whipped in a cross to the back post where Gressel lofted a header over the outstretched arms of QU goalkeeper Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain) for a two-goal advantage, 3-1.
Facing the two goal deficit, Quinnipiac settled in and began to press forward. A mere six minutes after Providence's third goal, Hinde connected with Baker in a play that resulted in a beautiful goal from 22-yards out. Baker slipped a perfect pass to Hinde some 10 yards away who ripped a one-timer on a line past PC's goalkeeper to cut the deficit in half, 3-2.
Unfortunately for the visitors, that concluded the scoring column as the Friars held on for their first victory of the season. Each team took six shots in the game, with Quinnipiac holding a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Neither goalkeeper was credited with a save.
Up next, Quinnipiac stays in the Northeast region for the middle game of its three-game road trip on Monday, Sept. 2. The Bobcats will travel up to Boston College for a non-conference clash with the Eagles. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.
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