By no means was Saturday night an easy one for the Duquesne men’s soccer team, but a 65th-minute goal from junior forward Jack Shearer was enough for the Dukes to defeat George Washington 1-0 at a chilly Rooney Field.
“George Washington is a tough team to break down and we knew that we had to be better in the second half in terms of moving the ball quicker and creating opportunities in the attack,” he said. “It was a tough and ugly game but we got the result in the end.”
— Duquesne Men's Soccer (@DuqMSoccer) October 13, 2019
Duquesne’s victory sees it improve to 8-3-1 overall on the season and 3-1-0 in Atlantic 10 play. Shearer’s goal was assisted by both Manel Busquets and Rob Dymond.
“There are always going to be games that aren’t pretty,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks said. “We’ve done it before this season, where you bend a little, but don’t break. It seemed like there was a little extra adversity out there for us tonight, but we overcame it and I am proud of the guys for that.”
Duquesne did have a week in between games and Shearer stated that the team was looking to resemble the effort in that last game, a win over St. Bonaventure.
The week also helped a Duquesne team affected by injuries in that it rested bodies. Duquesne maintained its intensity in Saturday night’s effort and were rewarded with three points.
This game proved to be a physical one as the teams combined to total 33 fouls and three yellow cards.
“We remained disciplined and defended smartly and efficiently,” said Shearer. “It wasn’t easy and we didn’t break tonight. It was a great collective effort.”
Looking at the conference standings, Duquesne is in the top half of the conference, currently tied for fourth place with Fordham and George Mason.
With the top eight teams making the playoffs, both Dayton and La Salle round out the current projected qualifiers for the Atlantic 10 Championships with six points.
Though Duquesne has four conference games remaining and its non-conference finale Tuesday night at Cleveland State, there is a delicate balance in trying to remain in the driver’s seat and controlling its own destiny with not only making the conference tournament, but also the potential of hosting a first-round game.
Speaking for the team, Shearer wants to pump the breaks on that kind of talk.
“We are excited about where we are at right now,” he said. “We are just focused on taking it day by day and game by game. We are not completely satisfied as we know there is always room for improvement. We will take this momentum in to Cleveland state Tuesday.”