The Duquesne women’s soccer team was predicted to tie for third place in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll as voted upon by the conference’s 14 coaches.
In the poll, Duquesne was tied with George Mason, a team the Dukes beat at home last season. Neither Duquesne nor George Mason received any first place votes.
Saint Louis was placed to finish first gathering 10 first-place votes, while last season’s champion, LaSalle, amassed the other four.
Additionally a trio of Duquesne seniors in midfielder Casey Aunkst, keeper Kyra Murphy and forward Katie O’Connor each were named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason Team.
Both Aunkst and Murphy have local ties with the former attending Penn-Trafford High School and the latter Canon-McMillan High School with each receiving numerous awards for her accomplishments.
Currently Duquesne has a high number of WPIAL products on its team, a far cry from the one represented when coach Al Alvine first accepting the job.
“That was a real priority for us to make a concerted effort to get the best local kids to come here,” Alvine told our John Krysinsky in a podcast interview. “You saw that with Casey and with Kyra, Abby (Losco)… Deena DeBaldo. Then you look at the freshmen we have on this year’s team including the Riverhounds kids. We are thrilled to be getting good, quality kids from Western Pennsylvania.”
Duquesne opens it season Friday at the Penn State Invitational against Arkansas.