Monthly Archives: October 2008

WQAQ Athlete of the Week: Graciano Brito

By: Steven Ceruti

This week’s WQAQ Athlete of the Week is men’s soccer co-captain Graciano Brito. The Bobcat forward scored two goals in a 3-1 victory over Central Connecticut last Sunday, putting Quinnipiac a little closer towards the NEC tournament. Brito’s first goal of the game and 13th of the year broke up a 1-1 tie in the 68th minute when he controlled a passed from teammate Durval Pereira, beat two Blue Devil defenders and scored from outside the box. His second goal of the game and 14th of the year put the game out of reach when he beat his defender and ripped a shot in the lower left corner giving the Bobcats a 3-1 lead which they would hold on to until the final horn.

Brito leads the Bobcats this season in goals, shots and points this season, and has been the standout player making plays when the team needs him the most. Quinnipiac is currently in fifth place in the NEC with four games to go. The Bobcats will take on the Robert Morris Colonials in their next match on Friday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. The Colonials are currently in last place in the conference and Brito looks to add to his already stellar season for QU.

Early deficit too much to overcome for Bobcats

By: Jamie Palatini

 

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – It’s not the start Bud Fisher envisioned for his senior season at Quinnipiac.

Fisher allowed three goals in the first period before being pulled as UMass Lowell beat Quinnipiac 4-1 Thursday night at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass. With the win, the River Hawks improve to 3-2. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 1-2.

UMass Lowell jumped out to the lead 8:35 into the game. While on a power play, Ben Holmstrom fired a shot saved by Fisher. But the rebound came right to Kory Falite, brother of former Quinnipiac hockey player Craig Falite. He corralled the rebound and shot it past Fisher to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead.

About two and a half minutes later, UMass Lowell extended their lead. Fisher made a few saves on a barrage of shots by the River Hawks, but let one get away from him. Fisher tried to cover up a rebound, but was unable to as the puck trickled away from the crease. Holmstrom picked up the rebound and lifted it over Fisher as he lay sprawled out on the ice, and UMass Lowell had the two-goal advantage.

Scott Campbell increased the River Hawks’ lead just two minutes later. After the Bobcats’ defense failed to clear a rebound away from the crease, Campbell took the puck and beat Fisher to give the UMass Lowell a 3-0 lead. At that point, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold had seen enough from his senior goaltender, and pulled him in favor of freshman netminder Nick Pisellini. Pisellini performed well in relief of Fisher, allowing only one goal on 23 shots the rest of the way for the Bobcats.

Fisher has struggled mightily through the start of this season.  Since the first period in Quinnipiac’s season opener in Omaha, Neb., where he kept Union off the scoreboard, Fisher has allowed a combined nine goals in his last 56 minutes in net, averaging out to nearly a 9.00 goals against average.

Falite scored his second goal of the game early in the second period while UMass Lowell was on the power play to give his team a 4-0 lead.

Quinnipiac’s lone goal came midway through the third period. The Bobcats were shorthanded when Mike Atkinson made a pass to freshman Spencer Heichman, who beat River Hawks goaltender T.J. Massie for his second goal of the season.

The Bobcats will look to rebound Saturday evening when they host in-state rival UConn in their ’08-’09 home opener at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.

Bulldogs take bite out of Bobcats

 

By: Bobby Schilling

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – The Bryant University Bulldogs outlasted the QU women’s soccer team Wednesday, 1-0.  Freshman forward Brooke Duchaney delivered the blow for Bryant with 28 seconds to play in the game.

 

The cold and frigid weather did not seem to affect Bryant as they seemed to control possession for the majority of the game.  Most of the first half was spent on the Bobcats’ defending side of the field, but Bryant had nothing to show for it.

 

The second half saw more of the same, but despite Bryant’s ball control, QU came out with some excellent scoring chances.  Freshman Furtuna Velaj got a one-on-one opportunity with Bulldog goalkeeper Jessica Clark, who made a diving stop as Velaj tried to dribble around her.  A few minutes later, junior Susan Donovan had a similar chance for the Bobcats, but her chip attempt was tipped up and over the net by Clark.

 

Quinnipiac keeper Jillian Kelley played superbly in net for the Bobcats, showing off her hands on a vast array of free kicks by Bryant.   Unfortunately for QU, she could not keep it up for 28 seconds longer.  On a broken play at the end of the game that saw two Bulldogs in front of the net and no Bobcats, Duchaney was able to flick a header past Kelley for the win.

 

Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke credited the Bulldogs saying “Bryant deserved the win.”  He went on to express his disappointment with his team, saying, “We got exactly what we deserved out of the game, which was nothing.”

 

The Bobcats drop to 7-6-2 (3-3-2) while Bryant moves to 5-9-3.  The Bobcats final regular season game is at home on Sunday at noon against CCSU.  The Bobcats need a win and some help to keep their NEC playoff hopes alive.

Brito leads Bobcats past in-state rival CCSU

 

By: Jamie Palatini

 

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – Graciano Brito’s two second half goals made the difference on Sunday as Quinnipiac defeated Central Connecticut State University 3-1 in Hamden. The win improves the Bobcats’ record to 8-4-2 overall, and 3-2 in the Northeast Conference. With the loss, CCSU drops to 6-6-2 overall, and 0-4-1 in the NEC.

The Bobcats struck early in the first half to take the lead. In the eighth minute, Brito took a shot from just inside the penalty box that was saved by Blue Devils’ goalkeeper Paul Armstrong. But the rebound came right to the feet of freshman Durval Pereira, who buried the ball in the top left corner of the goal. It was Pereira’s fifth goal of the season, and it gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

The rest of the first half was highlighted by physical play as four yellow cards were given out in a span of 15 minutes. However, Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said he wasn’t surprised by the physical nature of play.

“Any time that we play Central, it’s always a physical battle, and it’s always a game that’s really gritty,” Da Costa said. “Not only is it a pivotal conference game, but it’s a local rivalry, and we’ve always had some heated battles with these guys for a number of years.”

The physical play came to a head with just two minutes to go in the opening half, and resulted in a goal for the Blue Devils. CCSU’s Yan Kuklowski made a move past Quinnipiac’s Pierre Soubrier toward the Bobcats’ goal. Soubrier then proceeded to pull Kuklowski down inside the penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick for CCSU. Quinnipiac goalkeeper Freddy Hall dove to his right, but guessed wrong as Kuklowski’s shot found the lower left corner to tie the game up at one.

But that was as close as CCSU would get. In the 68th minute, Brito received a pass from Pereira just outside of the penalty box. He turned, moved past two defenders and fired a shot past Armstrong into the bottom right corner to give Quinnipiac the 2-1 lead.

Brito added to that lead 12 minutes later on a similar play. He received a pass near the top of the penalty box from sophomore Dominic Adams, who had two assists in the game. Brito moved right and beat his defender, then fired a shot across his body into the bottom left corner of the net to spot the Bobcats a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.

With those two goals, Quinnipiac has now scored 22 of their 28 goals (75 percent) after the first half. Da Costa simply feels that this is just how his team operates.

“It’s the way this team is. We’ve had our moments were we didn’t have very good first halves, we’ve started off real slow and allowed the other teams to build some momentum and gain some confidence,” Da Costa said. “A lot of the time, I don’t have to say much (at halftime). These guys know exactly where they stand, and they know what they need to do.”

As the season winds down, four games remain on the schedule for the Bobcats. They are currently fifth in the NEC with nine points, and sit one point behind Monmouth for the final playoff spot. Last year Quinnipiac finished 0-3-2 down the stretch and missed the playoffs by a single point. Da Costa said his team needs to forget about the past if they are going to make it into postseason play this year.

“Our season is only about the next four games. Nothing else matters to us,” he said. “We’re not concerned with any game that we’ve played up to this point. It’s about the next four games ahead of us.”

The first of those four games will take place next Friday in Moon Township, Pa. against Robert Morris, who is currently tied for last in the NEC. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.

Bobcats lose twice over the weekend

 

By Jay Slater 

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – Quinnipiac volleyball took another step back as they lost both of their matches over the weekend, first losing in four sets to Central Connecticut 3-1 on Friday Night, and then losing in straight sets to Sacred Heart on Saturday. The losses keep Quinnipiac winless in the Northeast Conference this year, as their record now stands at 0-4 in conference play.

In Friday’s “Dig Pink” event, which raised awareness and money for breast cancer, the Bobcats were out-attacked by Central Connecticut all night. Led by Jaime Baumert (11 kills, .346 attack percentage), they handled Quinnipiac with an overall team attack percentage of .269, 40 points higher than that of the Bobcats. The win (25-11, 19-25, 25-22, 25-15) moves Central to 7-11 on the year, and 2-1 in conference play.

The Bobcats then were outplayed by Sacred Heart the next day, losing in straight sets, 25-21, 25-19, 26-24. While recording a total of eight team blocks on the day, Quinnipiac was plagued by low team attack totals, as they tallied a .078 team attack percentage for the entire match. Sacred Heart (15-7, 2-0 NEC) received big games from Brittany Best (12 kills, 11 digs) and Courney Kidd-Kadlubek (33 sets) in the winning effort.

The weekend losses drop Quinnipiac’s overall season record to 3-24. They return to the court Wednesday, Oct. 29th to take on Siena.

John Hughes named WQAQ Athlete of the Week

By Steve Ceruti

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – This week’s pick for WQAQ Athlete of the Week is John Hughes, who won his third straight Northeast Conference Male Athlete of the Week Award as well. The Quinnipiac junior advanced to the ITA Northeast round of 32 where he defeated Robert Ferrante of Fairfield and Dartmouth’s Daniel Freeman. In the defeat of Ferrante, Hughes won 12 of the last 17 games to win the match 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. Against Freeman, he won his first set 6-3 but then lost the second set 7-6 (13-11) in a tiebreaker. Hughes would then lead 3-2 in the third set when his opponent retired due to injury.

This season, Hughes has won the Bucknell Invitational Tournament as well as the Quinnipiac Invitational Tournament. He has also tied the all-time record for the most consecutive NEC Male Athlete of the Week awards with three putting him in a tie with Fairleigh Dickinson’s Philip Stephens. He is 19-6 overall and has a stellar 10-2 record in singles matches. Next up for Hughes and the Bobcats men’s tennis team is the Connecticut Collegiate Championship in New Haven that begins on Friday, Oct. 24.

Bobcats Defeat Sacred Heart, Get Weekend Sweep

By: Bobby Schilling

(Hamden, CONN.) – The women’s soccer team earned a much-needed sweep this weekend as they followed up their win on Friday with a 3-0 victory over Sacred Heart University on Sunday. Freshmen Furtuna Velaj and Chelsea Smith scored for the Bobcats, as did sophomore Meghan McLoughlin. Bobcat assists were recorded by McLoughlin, junior Amber Sidoti and senior Danielle Nugent.

Play early was slow and choppy, with many fouls and throw-ins, but the Bobcats finally found their rhythm 12 minutes into the game when Velaj chipped a ball in the box over Sacred Heart’s charging goalkeeper.

SHU had no time to recover as McLoughlin buried a loose ball into the net just over a minute later, and it was all but over from there.

Smith capped off the half for QU with only seven seconds left, as she used her head to deflect a free kick from Nugent past the keeper and giving the Bobcats a 3-0 halftime lead.

The pace slowed for Quinnipiac in the second half and SHU was able to hold possession and get some scoring opportunities, but the defense held strong and Jillian Kelley was brilliant in net. The end result never seemed to be in doubt.

QU head coach Dave Clarke discussed his team’s approach to the remaining games. “If we get two more wins, that’s great. If we make into the playoffs, we’ll accept it. But if not, it’s important that we lay a foundation for next year,” he said.

The Bobcats move to 7-5-2 (3-3-2) as Sacred Heart drops to 1-14-1 (0-6-1). QU will look to finish the season strong as they host Bryant on Wednesday (3 pm) and then CCSU in their final game next Sunday at 1 p.m.