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Duquesne men’s soccer draw leaves team disappointed

Photo courtesy Zachary M. Weiss

The Duquesne Men’s Soccer Team entered Thursday night’s home opener against Bowling Green with hopes of rebuilding Rooney Field as its fortress, but that process was stunted to an extent with a 2-2 draw.

“For us it is literally about being focused from the opening whistle to the entirety of the 90,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks said. “When we do that, we are a very good squad. When we don’t, we’re still alright, but we start to lose that connection and that coherency.”

This was a contest in which Duquesne certainly had its opportunities, many of which were inside the box at point-blank range but did not find the back of the net.

BGSU goalkeeper Brendan Graves set a career high with 10 saves and was aggressive in goal, chasing down shots outside of the box.

Brooks opined that Duquesne’s biggest issue was spotting the Falcons goals which was the case in both instances.

First, when BGSU captain Kyle Cusimano headed a ball that hit off the top crossbar and found a way in goal in the 17th minute. The side official was on top of the play communicating through his earphone that the goal, off a corner set piece was initially not good, but that quickly went in the other direction.

In the 23rd minute, Duquesne evened the score as junior forward Jayden Da capitalized-on teammate Jesper Moksnes’s stretch pass and put away a mistake from a Falcons defender.

For Da it was his second goal in as many games and the same can be said for Moksnes from an assist standpoint and he celebrated by doing a popular dance he saw in TikTok earlier in the morning.

Da was not available in the preseason games due to injury, but not only has he recovered, but also started each of the past two games.

It is this faith the coaching staff has given him whether injured or healthy that makes him feel he can give his full 100% and make an impact on this team.

“The past two years at Duquesne I’ve kind of been playing every position but over the summer I finally went to the position where I feel that I can play my best,” he said. “I was playing every game 90 minutes and the coaches were believing in me. I feel that all I needed was that belief from my coaches which allowed me to play the best I can play. Now Chase is seeing how I’m playing in practice, and it has allowed me to be successful now.”

As for Brooks, it brought a visible smile to his face just hearing Da’s name be mentioned and it is clear that the impact has been recognized.

“As you’re watching you see that Jayden’s pretty unbelievable as far as his athleticism, size and strength,” stated Brooks. “He’s just been doing a great job. It’s just really nice to have him on the field. He’s maturing, he’s growing up and he’s learning. It’s been a culmination of a lot of hard work that him and the staff have put in over the last few years.”

While Da’s score provided a boost for both the team and fans alike, it was another five minutes when a BGSU free kick saw Rodrigo Montez Silva put away the visitors second score of the evening.

For a good while, this appeared to be the halftime score, but Graves misplayed a ball and after a few previous point-blank misses, junior forward Zach Mowka did not suffer the same fate, scoring his first goal on the season.

Though this would be the final score, there were chances for Duquesne to put the game away, but it also got away from what got the Dukes to that point.

Bowling Green had one legitimate scoring opportunity in the second half and hit a post before Duquesne kicked the ball into safety.

Still, there was a collective disappointment that the opposing team came to the pitch and at times proverbially punched Duquesne.

“We were a little on our heels and ultimately, it’s a good learning moment for us early in the season,” Brooks determined. “It’s going to help us as we go down the stretch in conference and that’s why I wanted to schedule the teams we scheduled in the beginning of the season. I think there are a lot of positive takeaways tonight just like there are a lot of negative takeaways. We just have to learn from it and keep moving forward.”

Duquesne’s disappointment was only more so when BGSU was assessed a red card, playing the last 11:07 a man down.

Even with this advantage, the Dukes could not pull out a game winner, though there were multiple looks with 64 ticks remaining.

It was enough of a pain that multiple heads were down after the final whistle and a normally chatty team was anything but during postgame stretches.

“Ultimately, we know we deserved this game,” assessed Da. “It felt like a loss for us and the same happened in the first game. We took an L after that we came back even harder. We owe it to Dukes nation so we’ll be back. We certainly don’t want to look back at the game and think we didn’t give it our all. At the end of the day we can’t turn back on it, we have to move forward.”

Duquesne will look to do just that, having no games until next Saturday’s contest at Niagara, a far cry from the three games which occurred in a week.

This may be needed for a Duquesne side which loves to watch film and could use the time to improve as a group.

“I’m looking forward to a little bit of a break now and getting to just get back to work,” Brooks concluded. “It’s almost like a mini preseason, so what can we learn from the video, and apply to our play? Who can step up and show they deserve more time or a guy that maybe we’ve overlooked, so it will be a fun thing to see.”


Duquesne starters (1-1-1): Christoffer Vie Angell, Jesper Moksnes, Tom Tzabari, Cameron Territo, Ashton Jell, Ask Ekeland, Nate Dragisich, Anthony DiFalco, Zoltan Nagy (GK), Grant McIntosh, Jayden Da

Bowling Green State starters (1-1-1): Kyle Cusimano, Rodrigo Montez Silva, Josh Erlandson, Kyle Blasingame, Andrew Shaffer, Alberto Anaya, Eli Shope, Mads Christensen, Trace Terry, Nathan Masters, Brendan Graves (GK)

Goals: Kyle Cusimano BGSU (1st 17′), Jayden Da DUQ (2nd 21′), Rodrigo Montez Silva BGSU (1st 26′), Zach Mowka DUQ (1st 42′)

Cautions: Anthony DiFalco DUQ 17′, Nathan Masters BGSU 64′, Josh Erlandson BGSU 74′, Sam Bennett DUQ 75′, Nathan Masters BGSU 78′ (red card)

Shots: DUQ 17 (12 on frame), BGSU 10 (7 on frame)

Corners: BGSU 5 DUQ 1

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