Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Tournament – Semifinal Round
FINAL: Duquesne 2, Rhode Island 1
Nate Dragisch scored in the 10th minute, and Zach Mowka found the back of the net in the 59th, to give sixth-seeded Duquesne (10-6-2) a 2-1 win over No. 2 seed Rhode Island (10-5-2) in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinal at Hermann Stadium on the campus of Saint Louis University on Friday afternoon.
The win propels the Dukes into the Championship final where they will face top-seeded and eighth ranked Saint Louis (13-0-4) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (ET) with an NCAA Championship berth on the line.
This is just the third time in program history – and first time since 2002 – that Duquesne will play in the Championship final.
Dragisch collected a pass from Ryan Goodhew and blasted a shot to the upper left corner to give the Dukes an early lead.
DU added to the margin when Goodhew initiated a set piece, serving the ball to the far post where Ryan Landry headed it to Mowka, who deposited if from point-blank range.
ICYMI: An elite set-piece from the Dukes results in freshman Zach Mowka finding the back of the net!
— Atlantic10Conference (@atlantic10) November 12, 2021
Goodhew is the fourth Duke to post a two-assist game this season.
Domenic Nascimben finished with three saves, playing behind a connected DU defense that held the Rams to a lone goal in the 63rd minute.
This is the first time in program history that Duquesne has won multiple games in the same A-10 Championship appearance.
DU’s 10 wins are its most under ninth-year head coach Chase Brooks and are the program’s most since the 2006 team finished 11-7-2.
Post Game with Coach Chase Brooks and Nate Dragisich
For the first time since 2002, and third time in program history, @DuqMSoccer is onto the #A10MSoc Championship Finals defeating Rhode Island 2-1. First time winning multiple A-10 Championship games in an appearance. Championship final is Sunday vs SLU. @pghsoccernow
— Zachary Weiss (@ZacharyMWeiss) November 12, 2021
Preview / Key Storylines
Sixth-seed Duquesne (9-6-2), coming off a dramatic, come-from-behind, 2-1 Atlantic 10 Championship first round win at Saint Joseph’s, heads to St. Louis for a semifinal matchup with No. 2 seed Rhode Island on Friday afternoon.
This is DU’s first A-10 Championship semifinal appearance since 2006.
The Dukes, who were the lone road team to win in the Championship’s opening round, are the second game of a semifinal doubleheader preceded by No. 1 seed Saint Louis vs. No. 4 Fordham at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
The final is set for Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Please check A-10 Tournament Central for additional information.
PSN’s Duquesne Men’s Soccer Coverage with Zac Weiss
Duquesne Game Notes
DU VS. RHODE ISLAND
- Rhode Island leads the overall series 16-8, including a 2-0 advantage in A-10 Championship play.
- This is the first meeting between the two since a 3-1 Duquesne win over No. 23 Rhode Island in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20, 2018. The win was DU’s first in program history over a ranked team.
- DU head coach Chase Brooks is 2-4 vs. the Rams with a pair of double overtime defeats. All four DU losses have been by one goal.
Sixth-seeded Duquesne did not face any of the three teams remaining in the 2021 A-10 Championship during the regular season. This will be DU’s first meeting with Rhode Island since Oct. 20, 2018 when the Dukes upset the No. 23 Rams, 3-1 on Rooney Field. The win was the program’s first over a ranked team. Captain Ryan Landry, along with Eric Zech and Kendall Newman played all 90 minutes for Duquesne. Landry, Zech & Newman are the only members of the current roster who saw action in that game. URI was picked 7th in the A-10 preseason coaches poll, while DU was picked to finish tied for 10th.
- This is Duquesne’s fourth Atlantic 10 Championship appearance in nine seasons under head coach Chase Brooks (2013, 2015, 2016 & 2021), and first since 2016. It is the 11th appearance in program history (1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016). The Dukes are 3-8-3 all-time at the A-10 Championship including runner-up finishes in 1999 & 2002.
- DU’s 2-1 win at No. 3 seed Saint Joseph’s on Sunday was the program’s first in A-10 Championship play since 2002 (a 2-1 semifinal win over host Richmond). DU had gone 10 postseason matches without a win (0-7-3).
- This is the first time DU has advanced in A-10 Championship play since 0-0 first round draw with Charlotte at Charlotte, N.C. in 2006 (5-4 on PK). That was also DU’s last semifinal appearance.
- Duquesne, which has reached the title game twice (1999 & 2002), has never won multiple games in the same A-10 Championship appearance.
- Duquesne, which was picked to finish tied for 10th in the A-10 preseason poll, ended up in a two-way tie for sixth with Davidson (11 points each) with a 3-3-2 record. DU earned the sixth seed by virtue of a tiebreaker.
- Duquesne enters the Rhode Island game looking for its tenth win. The last time DU posted double-digit victories was in 2006 (11-7-2). This is just the third time in the past 15 seasons the Dukes have reached nine wins. Head coach Chase Brooks also won nine in his first season at DU in 2013 (9-8-1).
- Duquesne, which scored just five goals in seven games in the abbreviated spring 2021 season, remedied that shortcoming to become one of the most dangerous teams in the A-10 this fall. The Dukes enter the Rhody game with 32 goals in 17 games. DU’s 1.88 goals per game average ranks second among conference schools and is the third-highest goals/g. average in program history (highest since 2.05 in 2003).
- DU entered the championship with just one player – grad student Ryan Landry – who had seen action in an A-10 Championship game. Landry, a rare five-year starter, played 44 minutes as a freshman in DU’s 4-0 loss to Fordham at Davidson, N.C. in 2016. He had a pair of shots on goal in that match.
- The 2021 Dukes (7-0-1) are just the fourth team in program history to finish the home season without a loss joining the 2002 (7-0-2), 2006 (5-0-0) and 2011 (7-0-2) squads.
- Two of Duquesne’s losses came on the road to nationally-ranked teams (at then-No. 3 Pitt and at then-No. 17 Kentucky) a third came at Power 5 Michigan State and a fourth also came on the road to a team, VCU, that was receiving votes in the Top 25 at the time of the match.
- Duquesne (32 goals) has the second-highest scoring offense in the A-10 (1.88 goals/g.). The 32 goals are most by a DU team since 2014 (32).
- DU’s 16.3 shots per game are its most since 2010.
- Maxi Hopfer, a member of the 2020 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team, leads the Dukes with 28 points and 11 goals including braces against Saint Francis U, Canisius and La Salle.
- Hopfer’s 11 goals were tied for the most in the A-10 through the regular season. The 11 goals are also tied for fourth-most in a season in DU history.
- Hopfer, who has taken 72 shots this season, ranks among the national leaders in shots per game (T4th at 4.50) and shots on goal per game (5th at 2.12) through Nov. 7.
MAXI HOPFER ON NATIONAL LISTS
thru Nov. 7
|Shots on Goal/g.||2.12||5th|
Hopfer either led, or tied for the A-10 lead, in: goals/g, shots/g, shots on goal/g. and total goals at the end of the regular season
- Ten players have accounted for the Dukes’ 32 goals with Hopfer (11), Ryan Goodhew (4), Zach Mowka (4), Nate Dragisich (4), Ryan Landry (2) and Logan Muck (2) all multiple goal scorers.
- Eleven players have registered at least one assist for DU, led by Hopfer with six. Dragisich, Hopfer, Landry and Mowka have five assists each.
- Junior goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben has played every minute in net for the Dukes in 2021. His 86 saves lead the conference and ranked tied for third nationally through Nov. 7. His 5.06 saves per game is the second-best average in the A-10 and ranks 12th nationally.
- Nascimben has three shutouts this season (4-0 over Canisius, 3-0 over La Salle & 0-0 vs. UMass). He also registered his first career point with a secondary assist on the game-winning goal vs. Saint Francis U. He was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 20 (following the shutout win over Canisius and 3-1 victory over GW).
- DU’s 2021 captains are #1 Domenic Nascimben (GK) and #17 Ryan Landry (D/M).