Two First Half Goals Send Men’s Soccer Past Canisius, 2-1

HAMDEN, Conn. – The senior tandem of Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia) each scored a goal on Saturday afternoon, as the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team ran its unbeaten streak to five straight games with a 2-1 victory over Canisius College at the QU Soccer Field. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 5-3-4 overall and 3-0-1 in MAAC play – joining Monmouth at the top of the table in the league standings.

Since its loss to Hartford on Sept. 24, the Bobcats are 4-0-1 while allowing just one goal during the stretch. Monmouth University, who plays again tonight at Marist, serves as the only other team in the MAAC with an undefeated record.

It was a dream start for the Bobcats who raced out of the gates with two quick goals in just the first 12 minutes of play. The first goal came on a beautiful strike from Nicol some 22 yards out. Raphael Carvalho (Danbury, Conn.) worked the ball into the middle of the field and found Nicol alone at the top of the 18-yard box.  Nicol ripped a right-footed blast towards net which found the upper left corner for a 1-0 lead. It was his first goal of the season.

Quinnipiac needed just 1:06 seconds to extend its lead, this time coming on a set-piece from 25-yard out with trickery involved. With some tremendous acting from Stevenson Hawkey (Pennington, N.J.) to mislead the Griffs' defense, Quinnipiac used two quick passes to put Hinde in behind the defense for a one-on-one with Canisius' goalkeeper, Ryan Arvin. Nicol passed to James Doig (Liverpool, England) at the top of the penalty area, who redirected a perfect pass to Hinde for the goal. Hinde's tally was his team-leading and MAAC-leading seventh of the year and gave Quinnipiac a 2-0 advantage.

Defense prevailed through the remainder of the first half, and for much of the second as well. Canisius managed to cut its deficit in half with a goal from Denver Spearman with eight minutes remaining, but senior goalkeeper Jason Vancura (Whitman, Mass.) and the nation's 43rd ranked defense held on for the 2-1 victory. Vancura made his first career start and shined with seven saves. Quinnipiac entered the match ranked 13th nationally in shutouts percentage, posting a clean sheet in six out of its last eight games.

With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 4-0 all-time against the Griffs in a series that dates back to the 2003 campaign. The Bobcats took the first meeting by a final count of 2-1 in overtime; earned a convincing 5-0 victory in the next meeting, and defeated the Griffs, 3-2, up in Buffalo in 2008.

Arvin made seven stops for the visiting Griffs, who fell to 2-2-1 in conference play and 6-5-2 overall. Canisius returns to the pitch against Saint Peter's next weekend.

Quinnipiac is back in action next week with a pair of games on the road. The Bobcats travel to Manhattan on Wednesday, Oct. 23 (7 p.m.) and then head to Monmouth on Saturday, Oct. 26 (7 p.m.).

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