MAAC Honors Six Bobcats with All-Conference Laurels; Angoitia Named MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Highlighted by junior goalkeeper Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain), the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team received high praise for another successful season with several individual accolades at the annual MAAC Championship banquet on Thursday night. Angoitia, who was named the 2013 MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year, was one of six Bobcats to be honored by the MAAC by night's end.

Prior to the individual awards, the Bobcats were honored with their second straight regular season title. Captains Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia) and Brandon Strain-Goode (Toronto, Ontario) accepted the award on behalf of the team. Quinnipiac won the 2012 Northeast Conference Regular Season Title last season.

Under the direction of ninth year head coach Eric Da Costa, Quinnipiac has placed a total of 10 players on an All-Conference team over the past two seasons. Angoitia's major award was the Bobcats first since Graciano Brito, now an assistant coach for the program, was tabbed NEC Player of the Year in consecutive seasons back in 2007 and 2008. Senior Simon Hinde (Canberra, Australia) and sophomore Tobi Esche (Bremen, Germany) joined Angoitia on the All-MAAC First Team, while Machel Baker (Spanish Town, Jamaica) and Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) earned a spot on the MAAC's Second Team. Freshman standout James Doig (Liverpool, England) stood aside Esche on the All-Rookie Team as well.

Angoitia has put together a sensational campaign for the Bobcats, breaking several personal and Quinnipiac records throughout the season. He has a microscopic 0.67 goals against average this year, impelling the Bobcats into the league's top defense through the regular season. Angoitia has nine shutouts this season which has him in tied for first in most shutouts in a single-season at Quinnipiac. He also currently finds himself within the top two all-time in three career statistical categories at QU. He is second all-time in career shutouts (15), goals against average (1.14) and career wins (23).

Quinnipiac's offensive catalyst was also recognized by the MAAC, and was just a few votes shy of being named the Offensive Player of the Year. Hinde has nine goals and one assist for a total of 19 points this year. Included in the nine goals are five game-winners, one of which came in the team's final regular season game to clinch a share of the 2013 MAAC Regular Season Title. His nine goals this season have him just outside of 10th place all-time for most goals in a season at Quinnipiac, and have him ranked amongst the national and MAAC leaders. His five game-winning goals is tops in the conference as well.

Esche, who came to Quinnipiac from the University of North Carolina, has stepped into a vital defensive role in just his first year with the Bobcats. Due in large part to his leadership and direction in the back, Quinnipiac leads the league in shutouts (10), goals against average (0.67) and goals allowed (13) this season. The Bobcats enter this weekend in a tie for eighth place in the nation in shutout percentage and are 13th in goals against average. In addition to his defensive contributions, Esche also chipped in with a goal and two assists this season.

Baker, who hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica, led all Quinnipiac forwards with four goals and two assists this season. Baker's fourth goal of the season couldn't have come at a better time, as he lifted the Bobcats to a 2-1 victory over Siena in double overtime on Oct. 6. The Bobcats needed the win to stay in the hunt for their regular season championship bid. Baker had a goal and an assist against Providence (8/30); scored again against Boston College (9/2); tallied an assist in the game against Lafayette (9/7); and then scored against Manhattan (10/23). Baker has six goals and four assists for his career.

Nicol provided a huge boost for the Bobcats midway through the season, sparking the offense on multiple occasions. Scotland native Sam Nicol has two goals and four assists this season for the Bobcats. Nicol scored the game's first goal against Canisius (10/19) and then assisted on the game-winner that same day as well. He followed that performance with a goal at Manhattan (10/23) – which eventually proved to be the game-winner. Nicol has two career goals and six career assists.

A true freshman from Liverpool, England, James Doig was one of Quinnipiac's most consistent players all season long. Doig has three assists for the Bobcats in his first year with the program. He has 16 starts for QU, and had all three assists in a five game span.

In addition to MAAC athletic awards, the conference's academic teams were announced at the banquet. Simon Brossier (Jallais, France), Zachary Freidenreich (Edison, N.J.), Stevenson Hawkey (Pennington, N.J.), Justin Kody (Northborough, Mass.), Ola Ogunjobi (London, England), Jason Vancura (Whitman, Mass.), Nicol and Hinde were tabbed to the All-MAAC Academic Team. To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale. 

The Bobcats begin its quest for the MAAC Championship this weekend in Fairfield. No. 2 Quinnipiac will face No. 3 Iona in the semifinals at Lessing Field on Friday, Nov. 15. The finals will take place on Sunday, Nov. 17.

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