By Steven Ceruti
Add another accolade to the illustrious college career of men’s soccer forward Graciano Brito. After winning his second straight NEC Player of the Year award Brito is the pick for WQAQ Athlete of the Semester after he lead the Bobcats to the NEC playoffs and set a Quinnipiac single-season Division I record for goals and points in a season.
The co-captain of the team was clearly the leader and came up clutch for the Bobcats all season long, whether it was a big goal or fighting through all the double teams he faced all year long. Graciano was clearly head and shoulders above the rest when it came to performance and constantly reminded opponents of his serious speed and goal scoring ability. Brito, who played and started in all 19 of the Bobcats games this season, tallied 18 goals and three assists to give him 39 points on the year. The senior’s play all year long was what enabled Quinnipiac to make a postseason run. His value couldn’t have been on display more than in the Bobcats’ final game of the season against Mount St. Mary’s, a game which they needed to win. Brito scored two goals in the 3-0 victory, propelling Quinnipiac to the NEC tournament.
He will certainly be missed by Coach Eric Da Costa and by all his teammates next season but all were glad to have played alongside him. Coming into the year, he knew he had the chance to do something special but he would also face the best defenses his opponents could throw at him. However, he fought through the adversity and when teams double and triple teamed him, it opened up more opportunities for his teammates to show what they could do and he had confidence they could get the job done.
Brito has also recently been named to the NEC all-tournament team along with his teammate Freddy Hall, an award he was very much deserving of. Graciano finishes his Quinnipiac career with 40 goals and 92 points, both Bobcat Division I records and the 10-win season he was a part of is something he was very proud of. Brito will go down as one of the greatest players in Quinnipiac history, Northeast Conference history and he will undoubtedly have a bright future ahead of him. We wish him the best of luck and thank him for his hard work and great play over his four years here at Quinnipiac University.