Duquesne returned to the road looking to continue its program-best mark, but instead a late-game goal has it returning to Pittsburgh with its first draw, to the tune of a 1-1 result at Wright State Tuesday evening.
“I think we need to learn from games like today,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks told PSN after the match. “Winning on the road is difficult and I think today was a classic case of that. You go up 1-0 and it wasn’t our best game overall. They kept pressing and got their chance at the end and took it. Credit them for taking their chance and we need to be better.”
The draw does bring Duquesne to six games without a loss, one away from the 2019 team for the program-best total. Duquesne did enter Tuesday’s game as one of eight teams without a draw or loss.
Duquesne’s goal was scored on a corner set piece with Torge Witteborg banging home a goal for a second consecutive contest. It was his third score on the season and this tally came in the 13th minute.
Nate Dragisich picked up the lone assist, good for his fifth helper on the campaign.
Duquesne has been able to achieve consistent success through set pieces, with Brooks expressing it come down to having confidence alongside size and service, which he feels make the team dangerous each time it takes to the field.
“What validates our standing right now is more so our defensive intensity,” said Brooks. “Our ability to sacrifice and work hard for one another. The ability to score goals in different ways matters. We’ve scored goals in 4-5 different ways; we’re doing things in a well-round way in the moment.”
Duquesne’s defense held strong up until the 34th minute when it conceded the first shot on goal. The Dukes would allow three additional looks at goal for the duration of the half.
Ultimately, Duquesne would flinch in the 86th minute, when Brady Shapiro scored off a corner kick.
“When you’ve got a season where you’re undefeated, things are going pretty well in front of goal and you’re scoring goals, having one like this is a wakeup call where it shows that every game matters and every minute matters,” Brooks said. “We have to represent ourselves well and put forth the effort at high standards, we can’t take any plays off.”
For the fourth consecutive game, Duquesne was outshot, this instance to the tune of a 15-9 overall margin and 6-2 on goal.
While the shots tell one aspect of the story, Brooks stated that he was more disappointed by a lack of urgency and conviction late in closing the game, traits Wright State possessed in a desire to defend its home field.
“That shows me that we’re not doing enough on the ball as well,” he said. “Every team will get shots. Us being outshot to me shows we’re not where we need to be in creating the opportunities going forward. We certainly have the ability and the guys so that’s our challenge over these next few weeks.”
Duquesne will look to turn the page Saturday when it opens Atlantic 10 play against Loyola Chicago.
“I don’t think much changes for us,” Brooks said of the shift to conference play. “Our group is very focused and driven. They understand they have to show up every night and play no matter what. It’s about continuing to have that confidence in order to execute our principles.”
Duquesne starters (5-0-1)- Domenic Nascimben (GK), Christoffer Vie Angell, Jesper Moksnes, Torge Witteborg, Maxi Hopfer, Jacob Casha, Harper Cook, Anthony Harding, Nate Dragisich, Ask Ekeland, Cameron Territo
Wright State starters (0-3-3)- Saul Fernandez, Pierson Davis, Connor Osterholt, John Lyham, Presten Manthey, Jacob Adams, Brock Pickett, Cole Werthmuller, Reece Allbaugh, Kobe Perlaza, Guilherme Pipolo (GK)
Goals- Torge Witteborg DUQ 3rd 13′, Brady Shapiro WSU 1st 86′
Yellow cards- Presten Manthey WSU 27′, Anthony Harding DUQ 38′, Logan Muck DUQ 70′, Brock Pickett WSU 77′, Ade Akinjogbin DUQ 80′, Tate Mohney DUQ 88′, Saul Fernandez WSU 89′
Ade Akinjogbin played 43 minutes in Tuesday’s draw, which is a season high and most since the team’s road contest at Kentucky Sept. 12, 2021.
Akinjogbin entered last season as a starter, doing so for four of Duquesne’s first five games, before his minutes fell, with the season low, ironically coming against Wright State in last year’s regular-season finale at 13 minutes.
The London, England native started the season playing one minute at Robert Morris and has worked his way up since.
“It’s about that defensive side of the ball and having the ability to grind,” he said. “He’s doing a lot of those little things right now and that’s the wonderful thing about this squad. He’s stepped up like other guys have and it’s been wonderful to see. It’s understanding of the system and the confidence in himself to execute that.”
Jacob Casha made his first career start with Duquesne in this contest with Brooks citing it as a reward for his goal in Saturday contest versus Howard, some good work in practice and seeing a favorable match with the Australian joining senior captain Maxi Hopfer up top… Elmar Jonsson has missed the past two games due to injury, but Brooks has felt optimistic about his progress and expects a return to the lineup soon. Jonsson started each of the team’s opening four contests… Both senior goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben and freshman Ask Ekeland won A-10 honors with the former taking Defensive Player of the Week, while the latter was awarded co-Freshman of the Week. Nascimben recorded two shutouts, making 13 saves in the process, while Ekeland earned three goals, entering play tied with Witteborg for the highest point total on the team.