Men’s soccer shut out by Iona, 1-0

Juliana Nikac

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Photo: Samantha Bousquet

Photo: Samantha Bousquet

The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s soccer team’s nightmare season continued on Wednesday afternoon with a 1-0 loss at home to the Iona Gaels. Quinnipiac (3-8-1, 2-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) could not find the back of the net against Iona’s (4-4-2, 3-2 MAAC) stingy defense.

Despite outshooting the Gaels 14-6, Quinnipiac was unable to put one past Iona goalkeeper Juan Alcantara. Even though Quinnipiac mustered all those shots, they failed to find quality chances, with only three of the 14 shots being on net. Although the final score is not what Quinnipiac wanted, it was hardly due to a lack of effort.

“We all saw the game, we weren’t outplayed by any means,” head coach Eric Da Costa said.

Throughout the vast majority of the game, the Bobcats were in Iona’s zone and constantly had possession. Quinnipiac came out of the gates aggressive in this one. They were the aggressors in terms of offense, pace of play, and defensive challenges. Another aiding factor was that Iona was ready to play right into Quinnipiac’s hands. The Gaels did not seem inclined to push the ball forward or even apply any pressure defensively, but rather weather the storm. Quinnipiac could not get any serious chances, though, and the first half ended in a scoreless draw.

It seemed like one of those games where it was only a matter of time before there was a goal, and there was – just not for the team that was expected to score it. After Quinnipiac started the second half practically the same exact way as the first, Iona managed to put together one chance on a counterattack. Defender Malcolm Moreno broke out on the attack after a Bobcat chance. After streaking down the side of the field, the Madrid native delivered a perfect through ball to Killian Colombie, who put it home by the far post for his first goal of the year. This goal was actually the first shot on goal for the Gaels, but considering Iona only has two goals in the first half for the whole season, compared to six in the second, it probably wasn’t anything new for them.

After conceding the first goal of the match, Quinnipiac became desperate and switched their style of play. Players started going towards the middle of the field, and a lot more balls were put to the net, rather than to someone else in the hopes that they could make a play. However, sometimes being too frantic can lead to sloppiness, and Quinnipiac turned the ball over excessively. While it didn’t lead to any Gael scoring chances, it set the pressure and the entire offense back a considerable amount.

With about 11 minutes left in the game, the Bobcats were once again on the prowl. After finally managing to get past the initial Iona line of defense, Eamon Whalen appeared to be taken down inside the box, which if called would have lead to a Quinnipiac penalty shot. The referee, to the dismay of the Bobcats, swallowed his whistle, and play continued as normal. Afterwards, Quinnipiac was visibly deflated, and although they still had possession for basically the rest of the game, neither Alcantara nor the rest of the Gaels were seriously challenged. Time eventually ran out, and Iona came out with the upset. They clogged the middle of the field and did not allow penetration for the whole game, and the Bobcats didn’t know how to respond.

“It goes to show that you can lose a game in one moment,” senior William Pustari said. Quinnipiac did just that in this chippy rivalry game.

Quinnipiac will have to travel to New York this Saturday evening at 6 p.m. to face the Manhattan Jaspers, who are undefeated in conference play this season.