The Duquesne men’s soccer season came to an end Wednesday night with a 1-0 home loss to Davidson. Duquesne needed to win that game and receive help from Saint Joseph’s and St. Bonaventure.
It turned out Duquesne did get that help, but a goal scored in the 17th minute ended its season.
“I appreciate everything our senior class has given,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks said. “It has been an up-and-down four years for them. I thought they battled hard all the way until the end. The group as a whole it was a night-and-day difference from last year. The results don’t always show the level our guys put into every game.”
Given how last season went, it would be easy to understand that Duquesne would certainly have taken its postseason fate coming down to the final game.
Making the postseason was Duquesne’s biggest goal this season, Brooks said as much.
“The opportunity was there, no doubt about it,” said Brooks. “I just feel our group as a whole deserved more than they got this year, but any coach whose teams works hard all season will say that. It was there for us but it wasn’t meant to be this season.”
Assessing the season, Brooks believes that had the team achieved a victory against Saint Joseph’s or a positive outcome against St. Bonaventure that less pressure would have been on that final game.
For a second consecutive season though, a St. Bonaventure loss may have been the most impactful game of the season.
“I think the week off wasn’t necessarily the end of the world for us, our overall mentality wasn’t correct,” Brooks said. “It was a game we overlooked, which is sad to say, but I think that is what happened after we had three positive results in a row. That’s the sign of a young team that has things to learn still. I guarantee you they don’t make that mistake again, but when you come with your back against the wall against a tough team against Davidson, it’s a tough one. We have to learn we can’t put ourselves in this position.”
The time preparing for the Davidson game had little to do with tactics and more about achieving the desired result.
“It honestly took a wondergoal for them to get that result and all credit to that team for the strike,” said Brooks. “We forced the keeper into seven saves. I don’t discount how hard our guys were working to get a result, it’s a funny game we play.”
Though Duquesne’s season has come to an end, Brooks believes the future is bright. Yes some leadership is lost, but seven freshmen started the season finale and there will be new freshmen Brooks has to get to buy into his vision.
“I can’t underestimate how seniors helped team grow up and how much the freshmen learned,” he said. “I am looking forward to preseason already, it just stinks that we don’t get another game now.”