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Duquesne soccer programs earn A-10 recognition

Photo credit: Zachary Weiss/Pittsburgh Soccer Now

Once again, both the Duquesne women’s and men’s soccer teams received Atlantic 10 weekly awards as announced by the conference Monday afternoon.

On the women’s side, junior midfielder Deena DeBaldo earned Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

DeBaldo recorded a hat trick in Sunday’s victory over Youngstown State, the first by a Duquesne player since Danya Fenech accomplished the feat on Oct. 25, 2015. DeBaldo scored all three of her goals in one half, the first time that has happened since Audra Matthews on Oct. 6, 2006.

“My teammates Lauren and Natalie Bell made great passes to me to run onto in order for me to score the goals that I scored today,” DeBaldo said. “My movement off the ball and looking for those gaps to have my teammates slide the ball through to me allowed me to be successful today. It was a good feeling.”

DeBaldo is the second Duquesne player to win A-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Week as Lauren Bell achieved the honor on Sept. 3 after scoring a double-overtime goal to defeat Lehigh. DeBaldo shares the award with UMass’s Melissa Kossler.

The Duquesne women’s soccer team now has received three weekly A-10 awards as sophomore goalkeeper Megan Virgin was named Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3.

Duquesne is set to begin conference play Sunday afternoon against VCU.

Freshman midfielder Nate Dragisich was recognized by the conference as the co-Rookie of the Week, sharing the honor with Davidson’s Justin Stone.

Dragisich scored the game-winning goal in Duquesne’s victory over Niagara and assisted on senior captain Zach Hall’s goal as part of Sunday’s victory over California Baptist.

“He has been huge for us the whole season and been plugging away in training,” junior forward Jack Shearer said. “He’s a ball winner and he can get us going in the attack. He plays well, is creative and crafty. He’s been on top of things.”

Dragisich’s goal came in the 89th minute and was the first in his Duquesne career.

“I just kept finding spots to get the ball in and get shots off,” Dragisich said. “(Niagara’s) defense was very stretched out so I kept getting in the spots to get a goal and thankfully it happened in the end.”

Like their female counterparts, the men’s team has now received three A-10 awards this season. Senior goalkeeper Robbie McKelvey was named Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3, and sophomore defender Eric Zech shared the co-Offensive Player of the Week honor Sept. 9.

Duquesne is the lone Atlantic 10 team without a loss and will next have its first road game Wednesday afternoon against Robert Morris.

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