By all accounts, the Duquesne women’s soccer season has been a frustrating one in that its hard work has not translated into wins, although Sunday proved a different story.
Facing the potential of a third consecutive draw, Lauren Bell was able to score in the 100th minute and was immediately greeted by her teammates as Duquesne bested Lehigh by a 2-1 score.
“The two previous ties we have no one to blame but ourselves,” Duquesne coach Al Alvine said. “We gave away goals either late in the game or half and it came back to bite us. I was proud of our team’s resilience today. We conceded the equalizer and heads never dropped. We missed the PK and heads didn’t drop. Those are the type of wins that make me proud as a head coach. They never quit, they never stopped fighting up until we got the game winner. It is great to be rewarded for their effort, we’ve been playing well the last few games. This was a great achievement for the girls.”
The win is Duquesne’s first of the season.
“We all went out there and knew we needed to get this win,” Duquesne sophomore midfielder Alex Saturni said. “I think we came out with a good mentality instead of just treating it as another overtime. As a team we’ve really faced some battles and never have given up. We’ve been battling this whole time and today we really came together as a team and got the win. I think we really channeled the spring into the fall. Hopefully it only goes up from here.”
Duquesne was able to get shots on goal in the first half, but neither team really was able to create necessary separation which would provide scoring opportunities.
Saturni did not play in Friday’s draw at Appalachian State due to an ankle injury but she scored in the 62nd minute and picked up fellow sophomore Hannah Nguyen when celebrating her goal.
“There definitely were a lot of emotions considering that I was not able to play on Friday because of my ankle,” she said. “I think as a team we all played really well. It felt good getting the goal and I thought we just stuck it out and we played well.”
Alvine added that all things considered, Saturni had a very good game.
“You see how important she was for the team, not just because of the goal but because of her ability to keep things ticking at midfield,” said Alvine.
Duquesne’s advantage was short lived as Lehigh’s Kayla Arestivo scored six minutes later, beating Dukes keeper Megan Virgin’s outstretched hand.
Lehigh got another look or two in regulation, but could not get the shots on goal and thus the contest went into overtime.
After the first 10 minutes of overtime did not settle anything, the combination of Bell and sophomore defender Ashley Rodriguez went to work.
Rodriguez was aggressive all night on the back end and pushed the possession deep into the Lehigh end where she found Bell who scored her second career overtime goal.
“Ever since I have known her in high school, she’s always figured out a way to get a big goal,” Alvine said of Bell. “I thought today was a really good game, I was very proud of how she led the line when she was out there.”
As for Rodriguez, Alvine was not surprised by her performance as he has seen this since the spring season.
“She really established herself as someone who could play outside back the way we want them to play,” said Alvine. “It is defending but also getting forward and contributing to the attack. She’s been great all season and super proud to get her name onto the score sheet.”
Duquesne now looks to build this momentum when it takes to the road Sunday afternoon against North Carolina State
“If you work hard and keep at it then good things will happen,” Alvine said. “It’s hard to keep sending that message if you are not winning games. I can talk all I want to, but this is the proof. That means more than anything any coach can say.”
Here are some pictures from Sunday’s game: