After starting their CAA season with a strong 3-1 win against UNC Wilmington on Sep. 2, Northeastern looked to continue their winning ways with a non-conference matchup against the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Huskies made the trip down to Hamden, Connecticut on Tuesday for their second straight road match.
Northeastern is a physical side, and they were quick to establish their brand of soccer upon the match with an early flurry of tackles. Junior midfield transfer Davide Romeo found himself in the referees book early on, getting shown a yellow card after making an essential tactical foul to halt the Bobcats counterattack in just the fourth minute.
Quinnipiac, despite being largely unable to match Northeastern’s physicality, was a strong team in their own right. The Bobcats were reliant more on speed and quick ball movement, as opposed to using strength to hold the ball and open up space across the pitch. Despite the Huskies’ disadvantage in pace, they managed to force the ball downfield and produce a cracking shot from senior forward Federeico Tellez that rattled off the crossbar in the 14th minute.
Tellez’ effort would be the best chance Northeastern would have in the opening 45 minutes. As fatigue set in, the Bobcats found their footing, and forced a pair of back-to-back corner kicks in the final 10 minutes of the half. While neither set piece produced a shot, it did represent the most sustained pressure against the Northeastern defense in the first half.
After halftime, the Huskies emerged from the locker room with a second wind of energy. While Quinnipiac fifth year forward Tomas Svecula did his best to provide an offensive spark, it was Northeastern who found themselves in control of possession, and the game swung their way.
10 minutes into the second half, graduate student forward Kevin Ogudugu darted into the offensive penalty area, and played the ball across the box to the back post, finding a waiting sophomore winger Kade Tepe. Tepe, instead of shooting, made a pass right back into the middle, where sophomore forward Fraser Brown was stalking the Bobcat’s net. The Kiwi striker took one touch to settle the ball, before rifling a half-volley underneath a last-ditch effort from a Quinnipiac defender to score. Northeastern jumped out to a 1-0 lead, with Brown’s third goal in as many games.
After taking control of the scoreline, Northeastern looked to compound their gains. Instead of sitting back and defending, the Huskies followed the philosophy of the best defense being a good offense. They marched down the field once again with the eternally dynamic Tellez spearheading the charge. The team’s designated free kick specialist, Tellez found himself over a set piece once more, three minutes after the Huskies’ last score. His shot was parried by sophomore goalkeeper Karl Netzell. However, Netzell couldn’t control the ball, and it spilled from his arms just in front of the goal. Freshman Thomas Vold was there to pounce on the rebound, and poked it past the helpless Netzell, doubling the Huskies lead.
Vold’s insurance goal proved to be extremely valuable, as Quinnipiac managed to get a goal back after Svecula rifled a penalty kick into the bottom left corner in the 76th minute.
The Huskies were able to quiet the Bobcat’s offense for the final 15 minutes, led mainly by the defensive play of graduate student fullback Ahriá Simons. Simons locked down his side of the pitch and stifled the Quinnipiac progression down the sideline. His long-ranged throw-ins allowed Northeastern to escape Bobcat pressure in multiple instances, and his performance in the late moments of the match was all-around stellar.
The Huskies held on after Svecula’s late score to win 2-1 after a full 90 minutes.
Northeastern returns to Parsons Field Saturday Sept. 9 for their CAA Kickoff game against the College of Charleston. Jack Sinclair will have the call live on WRBB Sports+ at 6 PM.