Monthly Archives: September 2007

O’Connor Continues Good Play, Team Struggles

O’Connor Continues Good Play, Team Struggles
By Jeremy Schilling

In the words of Head Coach John O’Connor: You can’t win with one good scorer. And that’s exactly what the Quinnipiac Bobcats Golf team is experiencing right now.

The Bobcats continued their fall season with a 6th place finish out of the 8 teams that participated in the Dartmouth Invitational this past weekend. The Bobcats shot a 640 for the 2-day event, a full 41 shots behind event winner Dartmouth. The Bobcats were also 100 over par, compared to Dartmouth which was only 31 over par.

Individually, Ian O’Connor led the Bobcats with a 2-day total of 152 that placed him 7th. Jason Loranger shot a total of 158 to finish 17th. Tying for 21st was Ryerson Stinson with a 36-hole total of 160. He was followed by Brady Giroux with 171, and Ben Cook with 177.

Coach O’Connor said, “We did not play well. Ian O’Connor came in 7th overall but the rest of the team shot in the 80s and you can’t win with one good scorer. Jason Loranger and Brady Giroux are showing signs of brilliance but can’t put it all together. I’ve added Ryan Reynolds from Hamden to my roster and he’s developing into a solid player but was not ready for Dartmouth. Ryerson Stinson is a New Hampshire boy and his home course is Hanover Country Club but had trouble all weekend and needed to save his scores with some fine up and downs from some very bad spots. Ben Cook was a last minute fill-in and looked to be ready during the practice round but in the end could not deal with the slick greens and rough terrain.”

The Bobcats resume their schedule with the McDonald Cup October 6th and 7th at the Yale Golf Club in New Haven.

5 In a Row for Women’s Soccer

5 In a Row for Women’s Soccer
By TJ Buzzeo

The Quinnipiac Bobcats have now improved their record to 5-1 with an impressing 5-2 victory over the Siena College Saints last Sunday.

After not playing in a week Quinnipiac came out of the gate slowly giving up the lead within the first two minutes of the game. Siena’s Susie Blaisdell set up teammate Tabitha Tice with a header which put the Saints in the lead 1-0. In the 11th minute of the game the Bobcats got their acts together, when Justine Lombardi set up Lauren Peacock’s fourth goal of the season and eliminated Siena’s lead.

With the score tied at one goal apiece Quinnipiac’s Irish duo of Susan Donovan and Sarah Lawlor took over the rest of the game. In the 17th minute Donovan gave the Bobcats a one goal lead, kicking in a bouncing ball that Siena goalie Patti Carroll could not get a hold of. Not to be outdone, Lawlor extended the lead to two not even a minute later. The score remained at 3-1 going into the halftime break. The second half was very similar to the first. Donovan set up Lawlor for her second goal of the game in the 61st minute of play forcing the score to 4-1. Donovan ended the Bobcats scoring with her second goal of the game coming just two minutes after Lawlor’s.

Susie Blaisdell added Siena’s second goal of the game in the 68th minute of the game, cutting the deficit to three, but were unable to get anything else as the Quinnipiac defense shut any comeback try down.

When asked if there may be a friendly rivalry between Donovan and Lawlor, both laughed and said it is more with their American teammates during practice, and as long as the Bobcats win they are happy.

Chloe Beizer had another good game between the pipes, stopping five of seven shots on goal. The first Siena goal which came 1:17 in the game broke her streak of shutouts at three.

The Bobcats will return to action on Friday the 28th when they take on Iona in their 20th anniversary celebration game and then again on Sunday the 30th when they play Holy Cross. Both games will be played at Quinnipiac.

New Blue Rugby Backs into Win after a Sloppy Second-Half

New Blue Rugby Backs into Win after a Sloppy Second-Half
September 24, 2007
New Haven, CT

After a 2006 campaign that fell just short of yet another championship, followed by the loss of senior talent, the 2007 Ruggers wanted to make a big statement in NERFU Division III. New Blue would have their hands full taking on Central Connecticut State University.

New Blue started the game as though they had never missed a beat. Playing with a more structured style of rugby, led by newly acquired coach Ben Boutaugh, New Blue’s possession plays lead to an early score. Senior John McHugh kicked the ball deep into CCSU territory to prevent an early strike from the visitors. As the ball fell inside CCSU’s 22-meter mark, seniors’ Brian Frank and Gerald Loehr set up rookie hooker Andrew Cai for the first try of the season. The momentum would carry over into the ensuing kick-off as the Forwards controlled every point of attack. With great vision by the backs, Senior Captains Dave Motisi and Jesse Ferraro raced inside the 22-meter mark where McHugh would again add 2 points with a field goal attempt. Already up 9-0 within the first 15 minutes of play, New Blue would continue to put pressure on a struggling CCSU.

CCSU would respond though by hammering the ball down the field with their forwards. The ‘bend don’t break mentality’ of New Blue’s defense would halt any attack by the visitors. After regaining possession and making quick haste down field by way of penalty kicks, Junior Ryan Brady would make a dash for the try zone. In rugby the defense must be 10 yards back after a penalty, in this case a knock on, and Brady capitalized on CCSU’s misunderstanding of the rules and snuck in for the try. McHugh would convert on the field goal attempt to put New Blue up 16-0. Seemingly a one sided affair, Captain Dave Motisi would add a 30-yard run to put New Blue up 22-0 going into halftime.

The second half would be a completely different story. New Blue looked winded and were looking for a win that was still 40 minutes away. CCSU would storm down the field on New Blue and score on their first possession. Dropped balls and missed tackles would help CCSU score 15 unanswered points as it seemed CCSU would have the grit to make a comeback. But New Blue’s resilience and timely tackles to regain possession would set up field goal kicker McHugh to convert a 25 yard attempt to put the game out of reach for CCSU. As the final whistle sounded, New Blue escaped with a 25-15 victory.

This weekend New Blue takes on rival Southern Connecticut State College Saturday September 29th at the New Haven field. This season the teams have incorporated a Cup, The Battle for New Haven, which will finally suggest in trophy form which team is better than the other.

Quinnipiac Bobcat runners continue winning ways at Quinnipiac Invitational

Quinnipiac Bobcat runners continue winning ways at Quinnipiac Invitational
by Scott Sheahen
September 25, 2007

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams opened their seasons with 2-1 records with their second straight win at home Friday. Quinnipiac beat Yale, Northeastern, the University of Hartford, and the University of Rhode Island.

The men’s and women’s team placed four runners in the top five finishers. Senior Jake Gurzler (27:06), Junior Jack McDonald (27:07), Sophomore Tyler Dinnan (27:22), and Senior Keith Bushey (27:23) finished 2nd-5th and helped lead the Bobcats. Junior Terence Moriarty (27:30), and Junior Daniel Martin (27:43) helped the Bobcats finish first with their 8th and 10th place finishes.

The men finished with a total time of 2:16:30 and 22 points giving them the win. Yale University finished second with 69 points and the University of Rhode Island rounded out the top three with 74 points.

For the women, Sophomore Kristen Stevens (18:08), Sophomore Lindsey Pierret (18:35), Junior Chelsea Bollerman (18:45), and Senior Susan Ashe (19:00) finished in the top four to lead the women’s team. Other notable Bobcat runners were, Senior Ashley Reichely (19:14), Senior Abbey Gosling (19:19), and Freshman Kelly Sorrell (19:22).

The Lady Bobcats dominated their competition. Quinnipiac received 16 points for their first, second, third, fourth, and sixth place finishes. They finished with a combined time of 1:33:44. Yale finished second with 56 points and Northeastern finished third with 76 points.

Quinnipiac is preparing for their next meet. Quinnipiac will travel to Franklin Park in Boston for the New England Championships on Saturday.

Bobcats volleyball swept in Philly

Bobcats volleyball swept in Philly
By: Michael Radomski

The Quinnipiac women’s volleyball team lost both matches at the Sheraton-Penn Invitational this past weekend.

The Bobcats were defeated by Albany in 3 games, and then QU lost to Pennsylvania, the host of the tournament, in 3 straight games.

Quinnipiac failed to reach the 20 point plateau in any of the games, failing to score more than 18 points in any of the six games.

Junior Michele Vasapoli led the Bobcats in both matches and was named to the all-tournament team. Vasapoli led the Bobcats with six kills against Albany, and recorded five assists in the process. She also added five kills and six assists in the match against Pennsylvania.

Albany defeated Quinnipiac (30-13, 30-16, 30-17) with phenomenal setting from Samantha Jacobson and Brooke Stanley. Brooke and Stanley teemed up for 38 of the team’s 49 sets leading to a .386 attack percentage. The Bobcats only managed a .059 attack percentage.

Then, the Bobcats were defeated by Pennsylvania (30-18, 30-17, 30-17) in the nightcap. The Bobcats again had a low attack percentage of .054 as UPENN outset (42) and out killed (52) the Bobcats.

Junior Jenna Benigno led Quinnipiac with a total of 17 sets 17 digs on Sunday. Senior Stephanie Logan tied for the team lead with 11 kills on the afternoon.

The Bobcats drop to 1-14 with the losses and they will play in the NJIT Invitational this weekend. The Bobcats will play Columbia and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Coaches, Media have faith in Bobcats

Coaches, Media have faith in Bobcats
by Seth Rothman
September 24, 2007

HAMDEN — Quinnipiac was picked to finish 2nd in the ECAC Hockey pre-season coaches and media polls, released today by the league office as part of its annual pre-season media day.

Clarkson was tabbed the pre-season favorite, garnering 11 out of 12 first place votes in the coaches poll and 18 out of 23 first place votes in the media poll. Quinnipiac got the other first place vote in the coaches poll, and 3 of the remaining first place votes in the media poll.

“Clarkson’s definitely the class of the league right now, they were top 5 in the nation last year, they deserve to be there, they’re an excellent hockey team,” Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold told quinnipiacbobcats.com today. “They lost a couple kids but not a lot. Weller is the biggest one who signed pro. If Leggio plays like he did last year, they’re going to be really good.”

Pecknold cautioned Bobcats fans not to get too excited about the team’s high ranking, however.

“The thing about the polls is they don’t take in the injury factor,” Pecknold said. “If we stay healthy all year, we’re definitely a top 4 team. But we get a couple injuries to the wrong kids, and we’ll drop pretty fast.”

The season has finally come in ECAC Hockey for the Bobcats where the expectations of the fans will rival the expectations of the team. In the team’s first season in the league 2 years ago, fans were just hoping not to get embarassed every night; the team knew it could compete. Last season, the fans were hoping for a home playoff series; the players finished tied for 4th place in the conference.

But this year, the expectations are the same: Both fans and players are expecting a season that will at least get the Bobcats back to the cusp of the ECAC Championship for the second consecutive year.

For Pecknold, the expectations are nothing new.

“I think there’s no question we have a little more pressure on us this year,” Pecknold said. “That’s all part of the growth of the program. You go back to the old days of Atlantic Hockey, we were always picked first or second.”

After Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence comes in a close third in both polls, followed by Cornell.  

Last year, the Bobcats didn’t handle pressure well. Pecknold says the team began to think it was better than it really was.

“We had that with some of our players last year, some of our kids struggled a little bit when they thought they were better than they were,” Pecknold told the website. “The team still did well because we had some freshmen that came in and were hungry, but we need to keep our returners hungry.”

If Pecknold and assistants Scott Robson and Ben Syer can do all that, it will be a fulfilling season in Hamden.

At least, that’s what is expected of them.

Brito Finishes What His Coach Started

Brito Finishes What His Coach Started
By Zach Smart

The trail that led Graciano Brito to Quinnipiac was both unlikely and unusual. Growing up in Cape Verde—a scenic republic located off the Western Coast of Africa—Brito did not play one game of high school soccer.

“All my life I was a basketball player,” said Brito, a former silky-smooth point guard who played for the 17-and-Under Cape Verde national team in both basketball and volleyball. “I use to play 3-on-3 pick-up games of soccer (in Cape Verde), but I wasn’t into it. Basketball was my thing.”

So what was Brito doing on the pitch last week, scoring at will en route to establishing himself as the nation’s top goal-scorer for the week of September 16?

He was simply proving that through commitment, an engine of perseverance, and hard work, the road to success will straighten out.

Brito arrived in the United States at just 18, with little knowledge of the English language and no social or economic ties. During his high school years at Cape Verde, he maintained a strong interest in the international business world, rehydrating the mindset of members of different cultures and discovering methods of doing business overseas. But the language barrier and access to a fiscally feasible higher education presented a challenge.

Brito moved in with an aunt in Bridgeport, Conn., picked up a soccer ball and quickly made his presence felt on the playground scene. Brito, a freakishly athletic junior midfielder/forward, began carving up defenses in shark-size bites, turning many heads in games that featured collegiate players.

Amongst these players was former Teikyo-Post player Marko Cabral, who was playing under current Bobcat coach Eric Da Costa at the time. Cabral took DaCosta out to the parks to see the Cape Verdian kid who had quickly made a name for himself.

Da Costa was instantly sold, signing Brito as a top-profile recruit that Post wanted to invest four years in.

Brito red-shirted his first year at Post, getting acclimated to a new environment while focusing hard on his studies. Through grueling hours in the library and devoting time to learning English via television, music and communication with teammates, Brito registered a 3.8 GPA during his second semester at Post.

After seeing him in the gym a couple times, Post basketball coach Mike Donnelly urged him to try out. But with school work, soccer, trying to master the learning curve, and his commitment to a part-time job at a grocery store taking up much of his schedule, Brito had to pass on the opportunity.

He credits Da Costa for helping him master the transition to the collegiate level. When DaCosta got the Quinnipiac job in the summer of 2005, he said he had to take Brito along with him.

“Eric Da Costa has been like a father to me,” said Brito, harkening back to his days as one of Da Costa’s early recruits. “We have a father-son relationship. What I learned about soccer, all of it, is what Eric has showed me.”

That’s not to say, however, through workman-like persistence and a painstaking work ethic both on the field and in the classroom, Brito has come a long way in a short period of time.

“It’s all about working hard to achieve what I want,” said Brito, an international business major.

Brito’s mother Camdida, who he credits for shaping his life and career, helped him buy into the notion of shouldering a titanic work ethic.

It’s certainly rubbed off on her son. Everyday, Brito makes a 30-minute commute back and forth from Bridgeport. After laboring through school and soccer, he reports to his night job as a store clerk.

“It’s all about what I want, I never thought in my life that I would be in college. I would never even think about graduating from college. I have the chance now, I have to take advantage of it. I’m just focused, and realizing that dream.”

Brito’s name has been etched in record-book lure this season.

Following a Northeast Conference Player of the Week award, Brito earned a spot on the College Soccer News National Team in mid-September. His sublime weekend was underscored by a hat trick and the game-winning goal in thrilling a 3-2 triumph of Army. Brito has emerged into the go-to-guy, netting five goals in the ‘Cats first four games of the season. Quinnipiac is off to a 4-0 start for the first time in program history.