Following a setback to Akron, Duquesne felt as though it was a confident side given the provided feeling of being able to compete with any opponent, while taking that next step.
Saturday, Duquesne went to George Washington and emerged 2-1 victors, remaining undefeated in Atlantic 10 play and going 1-1-1 on its road trip.
“It was a good feeling overall,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks said. “The buzz in the locker room and the circle in the postgame circle was all about that belief and confidence and staying positive with one another. Those things are happening, and we should be taking steps forward.”
Duquesne is now in a three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 standings with Dayton and Saint Louis.
All three goal scorers in Saturday’s game all scored his second of the season, with GW striking first.
Duquesne overplayed a GW cross with goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben initially deflecting the ball, though Carter Humm was right there to score on an unguarded frame.
Jacob Casha, came off the bench to score for Duquesne in the 43rd minute on a ball, grabbing a long pass from Ask Ekeland and scoring on the bottom right part of goal. From the broadcasting view, it appeared unclear whether the shot surprised GW keeper Justin Grady or if he was screened, but either way the Australian tied the contest up.
Duquesne would take the lead for good in the 63rd minute, when the ball pinballed in the box before captain Maxi Hopfer put a head on the game-winner.
“To go down 1-0 on the road in the rain is one of those adverse situations and they had confidence and composure and bounced back,” said Brooks.
There was an intense exchange in the 85th minute when Hopfer was holding onto the ball in an effort to run some additional time off the clock. GW, which several times already had previously unsuccessfully asked referee Matthew Kreitzer to stop the clock, initiated contact on Hopfer’s midriff which dropped him to the ground.
Duquesne was looking for a card or a man advantage but instead had offsetting yellow cards for a foul which occurred 30 seconds prior.
Through the first three games of conference play, Duquesne has surrendered two goals after a 2021 season in which it conceded the highest total in the A-10.
“It’s been one of the most fulfilling things this season to see the guys from strikers back through Dom understand and buy into the defensive principles,” Brooks said. “To see how hard they work for each other is the selfless sacrifice and you have to do these things to be a team competing for championships.”
Duquesne next returns to Rooney Field Wednesday against Saint Joseph’s. The Dukes have not lost any of the last 11 meetings against the Hawks and Oct. 7, 2001 serves as the last time Duquesne lost to its upcoming opponent at home.
#24 Duquesne starters (6-1-2/1-0-1 A-10)- Domenic Nascimben (GK), Christoffer Vie Angell, Jesper Moksnes, Torge Witteborg, Zach Mowka, Maxi Hopfer, Harper Cook, Anthony Harding, Nate Dragisich, Ask Ekeland, Cameron Territo
George Washington (5-4-2/1-2-0 A-10)- Justin Grady (GK), Lucas Matuszewski, Ryan Cedeno, Aaron Kronenberg, Jared DeMott, Roee Tenne, Tim Neumann, Oscar Haynes Brown, Tom Cooklin, Elias Norris, Carter Humm
Goals- Carter Humm GW 2nd 30′, Jacob Casha DUQ 2nd 43′, Maxi Hopfer 2nd 63′,
Yellow Cards- Jayden Da DUQ 85′, Grant Barrientos GW 85′
Shots- Duquesne 17 (8 on frame) GW 7 (5 on frame)
Corner kicks- Duquesne 9 GW 1