An all-too-familiar sight, which plagued last season’s Duquesne men’s soccer team as all 11 players remained on the ground trying to process its 2-1 Friday evening overtime setback against a Northern Kentucky which played with nine players on the field.
When the players did get back on their feet, sophomore midfielder/forward Zion Beaton took control of the huddle with a simple message.
“This will not happen again,” Beaton stated. “Never let this happen again.”
When coach Chase Brooks entered the huddle, he remained positive after which the team loudly broke the huddle loudly stating “family” before retreating to the locker room.
“This was our game, we had it in the bag, I don’t think NKU had anything on us, they were a lump-and-run team,” Brooks said. “Ultimately, they got really fortunate tonight. I think if we play that game in a week or two, from now, we’ve got them, but that’s it, we have to learn. We have the young team, we made the young mistakes and that cost us two goals tonight. We have to pick ourselves back up, rebound, we’ve got a big day of training tomorrow and then the game on Sunday.”
This game had several different stoppages due to 10 different cards and several players down from contact.
The Northern Kentucky bench was active, specifically when Duquesne redshirt goalkeeper Robbie McKelvey earned a red card at 75:43 for what the referees stated was a kick to a Northern Kentucky player. The remarks also led to a red card for Stian Joergensen as well.
Northern Kentucky’s TJ Harris also was assessed a red card less than three minutes later.
After Northern Kentucky’s second and final goal, an Alex Willis header off a cross, a Norse coach gestured with pointing fingers, indicating his feeling Duquesne was too physical and the referee assessed one final red card after the game had already been decided.
“I thought the emotion was very good, if you look at NKU’s emotion, I think that’s crossing the line, but I thought our guys walked the line pretty darn well,” said Brooks. “I’ll have to go back and watch the video on Robbie’s (McKelvey) red card, I didn’t see that it was a kick, like what the refs were saying, I felt that he stumbled over the player. That’s the way it goes sometimes, you just have to react and move on.”
Northern Kentucky first scored on a long pass into the Duquesne box by its keeper Jim Barkei. Willis also scored this goal, as the ball perfectly bounced between McKelvey and a Duquesne defender.
Duquesne scored its first goal of the season at 54:46 when senior midfielder Noah Mehta connected with freshman forward Manel Busquets off a corner kick.
“It was a great corner, Noah Mehta swung it in very nicely and we were in the right space at the right time,” Brooks said.
McKelvey’s red card meant Duquesne had to bring a new goalkeeper in and Brooks chose freshman Domenic Nascimben. Nascimben was warming up early in the second half with assistant coach Adam Pearce because McKelvey had taken a couple of hits.
“It was really keeping someone warm because something was going to happen it was just what,” said Brooks.
Duquesne next will face Detroit Mercy Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Detroit Mercy defeated Robert Morris 1-0 Friday night.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up, the confidence comes from within,” Brooks said. “We know we were the better team tonight. We know we have to do a better job in certain instances and that’s fine. We’ve got a strong group, we’ve got a fit group, we’ll make sure we get the legs back under us tomorrow and be ready to go on Sunday.”