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Quinnipiac, the other unbeaten team
by Paul Kennedy, October 23rd, 2007 8:15AM

TAGS:  college men


Everyone knows about Wake Forest, the No. 1 team in the Soccer America Men's Top 25, unbeaten in 13 games, winner of its last four games by a margin of 20-0.

But another team remains unbeaten going into Week 8 of the 2007 season.

Led by scoring sensation Graciano Brito, the Cape Verdean immigrant who never played organized soccer until he entered college, Quinnipiac has completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of college soccer.

Coming off a 1-12-4 season and being picked to finish last in the Northeast Conference, Quinnipiac is 9-0-3.

The Bobcats, who have never made the NCAA Tournament since moving to Division I, remained unbeaten after escaping with 1-1 ties against Robert Morris and St. Francis (Pa.) in NEC play last weekend. With a 2-1 win over ACC power Boston College early in the season, Quinnipiac was ranked No. 15 in the NCAA's first RPI index released last week.

Brito, who commutes 45 minutes to school and works a night job at a supermarket, has been the story for the Bobcats with 12 goals in 13 games, but third-year coach Eric DaCosta has been getting big contributions from other players.

Senior Danilo Schiavon scored his fifth goal of the season in the 1-1 tie with St. Francis. The transfer from South Georgia Community College is one of three Brazilians to start in midfield along with sophomore Fabricio Silva and freshman Rodrigo Uchoa.

Former Barbados youth international Dwayne Mars, another freshman, scored his first collegiate goal in the tie with Robert Morris.

Irishman Ross McGibney, who spent two years attending high school in Westport, Conn., before enrolling at Quinnipiac has scored two game-winning goals in 2007 after not playing at all in 2006.

Freshmen Pierre Soubrier, a French exchange student who finished high school in Maine, and Tolle Staffanson, a Swede, have solidified the backline, while Frederick Hall. a Bermuda U-23 international via Holderness (N.H.) School and the University of South Florida, has been outstanding in goal.

The Bobcats will face perhaps their toughest test on Sunday when they travel to defending NEC champion Monmouth, which is 5-0-0 in conference play. On Friday, Quinnipiac plays at Mount St. Mary's.

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