NCAA Women’s Soccer
Duquesne vs St. Francis (PA)
Sunday, August 22 | 2 p.m. | Rooney Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Duquesne women’s soccer team opens the 2021 season this weekend when it hosts Saint Francis U (0-1) at Rooney Field Sunday afternoon. The contest is slated to begin at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Look for updates and a game report from Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributor Zac Weiss (@ZacharyMWeiss)
While Duquesne opens the season on Sunday, St. Francis, with a roster that features four former WPIAL standout players (Emma Sawich, Peters Twp; Julianna Marshall; Serra Catholic; Coletta Ozbay, Chartiers Valley; Abigail Boulos, Deer Lakes), faces a quick turnaround and looks for a bounce-back performance after facing ACC’s Clemson on the road, where they were defeated 8-0.
- All-Time Series: Duquesne leads 12-7-1
- Series at Rooney Field: Duquesne leads 8-1
- First Meeting: Sept. 28, 1994 – Saint Francis won, 4-3
- Last Meeting: Sept. 14, 2018 at Duquesne – Duquesne won 2-0
- Streak: Duquesne +5
LAST MEETING VS. SAINT FRANCIS U
- The Dukes claimed a 2-0 win over Saint Francis on Rooney Field in the last meeting in 2018.
- Abby Losco scored in the 30th minute and Alex Saturni added an insurance goal in the 64th minute to give Duquesne the victory.
- Duquesne held the Red Flash without a shot attempt, allowing former Dukes’ goalkeeper Kyra Murphy to earn the clean sheet.
DUQUESNE IN SEASON OPENERS
- The Dukes are 10-15-2 all-time in season openers. Duquesne has lost each of the past five openers.
- The last Duquesne win in a season opener was a 2-0 win over Robert Morris on August 21, 2015.
- Duquesne has opened its season with Saint Francis five times, with the Red Flash winning three of those matches.
- The Dukes notched a 1-0 overtime win on August 23, 2013 the last time Duquesne played Saint Francis in a season-opening contest.
DUQUESNE IN HOME OPENERS
- The Dukes are 12-9-5 all-time in home openers, including a 2-0-1 mark in the past three seasons.
- Duquesne has hosted Saint Francis three times for its home opener and won two of those meetings.
SCOUTING THE DUKES
- The Dukes were picked to finish 10th in the annual Atlantic 10 women’s soccer preseason poll announced earlier this month.
- Duquesne is coming off of a 3-5-1 abbreviated season this past spring, in which it played league front-runners Saint Louis and Dayton twice apiece.
- Head coach Al Alvine brings back eight of the top nine players in terms of minutes played.
- Senior goalkeeper Megan Virgin returns for the Dukes after posting a 2-5-1 mark in the spring. She ranked seventh in the A-10 with a 78.5 save percentage and third with 5.10 saves per game.
- Duquesne will need to fill the void left by the graduation of Deena DeBaldo. Debaldo, who was a 2019 All-Atlantic 10 Second Team selection, ended her career in a tie for 10th all-time in school-history with 35 points.
- The Dukes added five true-freshmen and two transfers to the roster this season.
- Junior Bailey Farabaugh made 25 starts over the past three seasons at nearby Robert Morris,
- Sophomore Cami Taylor joins the team after earning Mid-American Conference All-Freshman Team honors at Central Michigan in 2019. She made 12 starts for the Chippewas and ranked fourth on the team with five points.
- Since 2015, the Dukes have boasted a 38-15-8 record at Rooney Field, while outscoring the opposition by a mark of 104-50 in those matches.
DUQUESNE HEAD COACH AL ALVINE (Robert Morris ’92)
- Al Alvine enters his 10th season as the head coach of the Dukes in 2021.
- The Dukes’ all-time winningest coach boasts a record of 66-74-20 on the Bluff and 33-41-9 in Atlantic 10 play.
- Alvine inherited a three-win team prior to the 2012 season and quadrupled that total in four years.
- He set a program record with 12 victories in 2015 – which included the program’s first-ever A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament bid.
- His teams have totaled 11 or more wins three times during his tenure.
- Alvine has coached four First-Team and three Second-Team All-Atlantic 10 picks, including 2017 A-10 Midfielder of the Year Linnea Faccenda.
- He was named the fifth head coach in Duquesne women’s soccer history on December 29, 2011.
- Alvine came to the Bluff after spending five seasons as head coach at California University of Pennsylvania, where he went 73-28-11 – including a 38-2-6 mark over his final two seasons with the Vulcans.
SCOUTING THE RED FLASH
- Saint Francis did not compete last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Red Flash were picked to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Poll revealed earlier this month.
- Saint Francis is coming off of an 8-0 loss at No. 7 Clemson Thursday night.
- The Tigers netted seven first-half goals to pull away from Saint Francis for the win.
- Clemson out-shot Saint Francis 32-to-4 on the evening.
- Goalkeepers Sarah McConnon and Emma Sawich each saw 45 minutes of action while making their collegiate debuts for the Red Flash.
- Saint Francis returns only one of its top-seven scorers from the 2019 season – Leanna Choo. Choo did not play in the game at Clemson.
SAINT FRANCIS U HEAD COACH ELLIE DAVIS (Clemson ’91)
- Ellie Davis is in her third year and second season as head coach of the Red Flash.
- She led Saint Francis to a 7-9-1 record in 2019, including a 6-4 mark in NEC play, in her first season as head coach.
- Former Red Flash Alyssa McGhee earned NEC Offensive Player of the Year honors after the season.
- Prior to her arrival in Loretto she was an assistant coach at Sam Houston State.
- She has also had stops as an assistant at James Madison, Indiana and fellow A-10 foe St. Bonaventure.