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Resilient Duquesne continues winning ways to beat Robert Morris, 2-1

As the Duquesne Men’s Soccer Team went to the locker room at halftime tied, senior captain Maxi Hopfer and coach Chase Brooks knew that the Dukes were trying to win their third road contest in the last seven days but needed some encouragement to finish the job.

All it took was a reminder who Duquesne was and what needed to be done so a positive result could be earned.

Less than two minutes after play resumed, Harper Cook connected junior defender Cameron Territo, whose header proved the difference in a 2-1 road victory Wednesday afternoon against Robert Morris.

“The first half wasn’t quite up to our standards so as we talked at halftime about raising our standards back to the level we had shown for the first two games as well as training, the response after halftime was probably the most satisfying thing,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks said. “The guys came out and pushed to get the results.”

What exactly was the difference in the second half?

Brooks simply stated it came down to the energy levels and belief levels being where they needed to be. This was evidenced by more voices being heard, an overall higher level of positivity and each player willing each other to finish the job, which all are elements that have been vital towards Duquesne’s opening three contests.

“Three games on the road in seven days is tough on the body, tough on the mind and tough on your emotions,” said Brooks. “You saw the culmination of all the miles we have put on and that’s where I am so proud of the response to dig deep and pull out more than what they thought they had. That was exactly what we needed.”

While Duquesne was outdone 9-1 in corner kicks, it did hold Robert Morris to one shot, which was not on goal in the closing 45 minutes.

Duquesne’s first goal was scored by midfielder Logan Muck, who was making his first start of the season. Muck’s score came in the fourth minutes with both Nate Dragisich and Jesper Moksnes earning assists.

“We liked what Logan brings from an energy standpoint,” Brooks stated. “He’s a tenacious type of player and we thought we could catch them early based on some things we had seen.”

Robert Morris would counter in the 14th minute when Logan Gilley tallied his first of the season, ending Duquesne’s streak of 193 minutes without conceding a goal.

Territo’s goal was his first in a Duquesne uniform and Brooks was happy to see the “heart-and-soul guy” achieve another breakthrough on the scoresheet.

Given Duquesne has traveled for much of these past seven days, there was a certain balance between physical and mental, with an emphasis on not overwhelming either category.

As a result, there was not as much time for learning, as it came down more to load management, some video breakdowns and keeping everyone in a positive mental state.

This made the two weeks of preseason work vital. Brooks piggybacked this idea by stating that though it was “a shame” that there was limited time to prepare for this early season stretch the work that was done put Duquesne in the position it currently is in.

Now, Duquesne has nearly a week between games as Tuesday night’s home opener against James Madison is the next challenge.

“Now it’s about taking that next step forward and continuing to showcase who we are on the offensive side a little bit more,” said Brooks.

Robert Morris (0-2-0) provided a tough challenge, but lost for the second time at home to open the season, as they fell to West Virginia, 1-0, last Thursday.

“Hats off to Duquesne today. They are an experience team that finds way to win,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “We will learn a great deal from the game today and hopefully begin to mature and find our own ways to win college soccer games. We will recover and get focused on Xavier.”

GAMEDAY INFO

Duquesne starters (3-0-0)- Domenic Nascimben (GK), Christoffer Vie Angell, Jesper Moksnes, Torge Witteborg, Maxi Hopfer, Elmar Jonsson, Anthony Harding, Nate Dragisich, Logan Muck, Ask Ekeland, Cameron Territo

Robert Morris starters (0-2-0)- Friedrich Petrelli (GK), Kelvin Ramirez, Noe Bijou, Chase Gilley, Bryan Akongo, Charlie Lawrence, Logan Gilley, Jacob Haskins, Connor Hain, Preston Rushmore, Hugo Kadima

Goal- Logan Muck 1st DUQ 4′, Logan Gilley 1st RMU 14′, Cameron Territo 1st DUQ 47′

Yellow cards- Charlie Lawrence RMU 17′, Christoffer Vie Angell DUQ 17′, Kelvin Ramirez RMU 50′, Team RMU 74′, Jayden Da DUQ 78′, Anass Hadran RMU 81′, Maxi Hopfer DUQ 90′, Kelvin Ramirez RMU 90′, Gabe Norris RMU 90′, Team RMU 90′

Red Card- RMU Kelvin Ramirez (50′, 90′), RMU Team (74′, 90′)

Corners- RMU 9 DUQ 1

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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