ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2018) – Andras Breuer's free-kick marker in the 11th minute put the Queens College men's soccer team ahead of Molloy on Wednesday (Oct. 24) at John A. Darcy Field in Rockville Centre.
By the time the match was over, however, Saufyane Ilbuodo had turned the evening into his own personal show to bring the Knights to a long-awaited postseason berth.
The senior forward from Burkina Faso scored twice in a span of four minutes in the second half to send QC to a 4-1 victory over the Lions; in doing so, Queens punched its ticket to the East Coast Conference Championship Tournament for the first time in 2015.
Breuer struck for Queens (9-4-2, 6-2-1 ECC) on a set piece, sending in a beautiful left-footed bender past the reach of Molloy (2-14, 0-9 ECC) goalie Raul Bonilla. Breuer's seventh goal of the season gave QC the early 1-0 edge. The Knights utilized the goal to its advantage in peppering the opposing goal, leading an 11-5 margin in shots with six targets to the hosts' one.
Ilbuodo took over from there as the second half commenced, scoring his first strike of the night just three minutes into the frame. The senior forward was a pest to the Molloy defense most of the night, heading home a cross from Cristian Villalta past a crestfallen Stephen Tappeto to give the Knights the insurance marker and a 2-0 lead. Four minutes later, and following a sequence that saw Romario Hulea take two shots in a span of thirty seconds, Ilbuodo struck once again on a rebounded deflection to give Queens a three-goal lead.
Molloy rallied back for a goal off a corner kick in the 57th minute as Nikola Aleksic headed home the in-swinger from Oscar Magnusson, but the Knights remained undaunted. Following a hard challenge outside the box on Villalta without a foul being given, Queens forced a giveaway deep in the Molloy zone. Hulea sent a cross into the box that was chested towards goal by Ilbuodo, but the Lions defense prevented the ball from crossing the back line. Unfortunately for Tappeto and company, the clearance went as far as the edge of the six-yard box where Villalta was waiting to finish off the attempt.
The victory for the Knights eclipsed the win total from the 2017 season, in which Queens won eight contests. As such, the Knights moved to 19 total points which puts them in the No. 1 spot in the East Coast Conference standings until Saturday. The other three teams that made the ECC Tournament---Mercy, Saint Thomas Aquinas and LIU Post---will all compete on Saturday to determine the final seeding for next week's contests.
Queens will conclude its season on Friday (Oct. 26) with a 3 p.m. contest at Dominican (N.Y.).