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#PghSoccer College Women: Dukes Start 2-0 in A-10 as Murphy Shines


For the first time since 2010, the Duquesne women’s team are off to a 2-0 start in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kyra Murphy has started off conference play with two strong performances and was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week in the A-10 this week.
The sophomore from Canonsburg, Pa. (Canon-McMillan HS) made an 15 saves to lead Duquesne to a 2-0 start to conference play for the first time since 2010. She made a season-high 10 saves at VCU, allowing just one goal in a 3-1 win.
The Dukes had to come from behind to beat VCU.
Trailing 1-0 at the half, Duquesne opened the second half with a game-leveling goal by Malea Fabean (Greensburg CC) in the 46thminute when she connected on a cross from Linnea Faccenda, heading the ball from six yards out.
Four minutes later, a Faccenda one-timer put the Dukes on the board again in the 50th minute, with an assist from Katie O’Connor.
Duquesne went on to record six shots on goal in the second period, and Italia Biondi (Penn Trafford) would add an insurance goal in the 79th minute to lift the Dukes to a 3-1 victory.
With two assists today, O’Connor is now tied for fourth place on Duquesne’s all-time scoring list with 38 points.
In the Dukes’ league opener on Thursday at home against Richmond, Murphy tallied five saves against Richmond in her third solo shutout of season and Abbi Losco (Hopewell) score the game’s lone goal on a header off a corner kick.

For Murphy, it’s her second weekly league honor (Rookie of the Week, 10/26/15). She shares the award with La Salle junior Larisa Zambelli.
The Dukes (6-3-2, 2-0-0 A-10) travel to Olean, N.Y. to face St. Bonaventure (3-7-1, 0-2-0 A-10) on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.


Since beating Xavier on August 28, the Pitt women’s soccer team (1-10-1, 0-4 ACC) have struggled to get back in the win column, losing eight straight, with only 2 goals in the past eight contests.
In the past week, faced with having to play back-to-back games against ranked opponents, they battled hard, but lost to both Notre Dame, 4-0, and Florida State, 2-0, to drop its ACC record to 0-4.
After conceding two early goals, Pitt started to show some signs of life for much of the remainder of the Florida State match on Saturday.
The Panthers registered eight shots total, five of them on net.  Florida State had 15 shots in the game, forcing senior goalkeeper Taylor Francis into five saves.
The Panthers next matchup is on the road against another ranked opponent, No. 3 Virginia (8-2-1, 1-1-1 ACC) on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
Pitt will then return home and welcome the Miami Hurricanes (7-4-0, 2-1-0 ACC) for a Sunday matinee on Oct. 9 beginning at 1 p.m. The home game will serve as Senior Day.


In the past week, Robert Morris dropped its first two Northeast Conference games to Bryant (3-0) and Howard (2-0) last week.
The Colonials have been unable to regain the form from last year’s season, when they made a run to the Northeast Conference finals.
In a rematch of NEC semifinal last year, Bryant gained a bit of revenge on Robert Morris (2-9, 0-1 NEC), who defeated the Bulldogs, 2-1, in the NEC Tournament semifinals a year ago.
The hosts struck early as a header by Alison Guilmette in the second minute gave Bryant an early 1-0 lead. The Colonials had their first crack at an equalizer 16 minutes later courtesy of Erin Ritzer (Bentworth), but her shot from the top of the box was stopped by Bulldog goalkeeper Kaylan Conrad.
Bryant doubled its lead in the 83rd minute when Kianna Woods beat Makenzie Shearson (Greensburg CC) with a strike just inside the right post. Three minutes later, the visitors stopped an attempt by Jane Schleicher (Montour) to keep the clean sheet.
Shearson made four saves in the defeat.
In the loss to Howard, John Kowalski‘s squad couldn’t muster many opportunities against a stingy Pioneers defense, as it only managed to attempt three shots during the contest.
The Colonials’ first shot might have been their best one as Schleicher ripped a strike in the seventh minute that clipped the crossbar. Eight minutes later, Maleha Kureishy fired a shot wide of the netting, seeming to give the visitors some early momentum. That shifted quickly however, as Sacred Heart scored the game’s first goal in the 17th minute when a Rhone O’Hara free kick was chipped in by Kim McNally.
The Pioneers added a second goal in the 51st minute when Melanie DaSilva fired a shot past Shearson from about 12 yards out. The third tally came five minutes before the final horn as Emily Dawidczyk buried a pass from O’Hara.
Shearson stopped three shots in the loss.
Robert Morris returns home on Friday, Oct. 7 at 4:00 p.m. when it hosts in-state rival Saint Francis University.



Jordan Toohey (Mt. Pleasant) has picked up where she left off a year ago, when she earned PAC Player of the Year honors.
Toohey recorded her ninth career multi-goal effort and sixth career hat trick in Wednesday’s 3-2 home win over Franciscan. The natural hat trick came with scores in the seventh, 14th and 53rd minutes. She currently leads the PAC in goals (8) and is tied for second in points (17).
W&J lost its first PAC game of the season, 1-0 at Chatham on Sunday in 2 OT.


With its win over W&J, Chatham (6-1-2, 1-0) are now riding a five-game unbeaten string including wins over Medaille (4-2), and Franciscan (1-0) and Penn State Altoona (4-1).
Junior Megan Seig (Serra Catholic) is the team’s leading scorer with five goals and five assists thus far, and sister Katelyn Seig (Serra), also has two tallies.  Freshman Elayna Burdelski (Fox Chapel) has started all nine of Chatham’s games thus far this year.  The Cougars play home games at the Ellis School in Shadyside.
Click here to see the complete PAC Women’s Soccer standings


La Roche are off to a 3-0 start in the AAMC Conference, after commanding wins against D’Youville (OH) and Penn State Altoona, then coming back from a two-goal deficit to beat Medaille (NY) 3-2 on Saturday.
Click here to see the complete AAMC Women’s Soccer standings as La Roche are in a three-way tie for first with Hilbert (NY) and Penn State Behrend.


Point Park University women’s soccer (2-6-2, 1-1 RSC)  nabbed its first River States Conference win over Asbury (Ky.) University, 1-0, Thursday, but dropped a 2-0 loss to Cincinnati Christian on Saturday.  Both games were played at Highmark Stadium.
The Pioneers’ senior Erin Gilmartin (Springdale, Pa./Springdale HS) scored the game-winning goal in the 50th minute.
Point Park travels to Midway (Ky.) University for a 4 p.m. River States Conference game Oct. 6.


The Tartans have started University Athletic Association (UAA) play facing a some early challenges.
In its first conference game, CMU hosted 10th-ranked Brandeis University, losing to the Judges, 2-0.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Tartans, as they will next face 16th-ranked New York University in New York, N.Y., on Saturday, October 8.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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