The Duquesne Women’s Soccer Team held serve at Rooney Field for a second consecutive game after besting Fairleigh Dickinson by a 1-0 count Thursday night.
It was a result where Duquesne took 17 shots, seven of which were on net, had possession 57% of the time and also faced a winless side for a consecutive game, but largely matched the intensity needed for the demands of this game.
“I thought that team came out strong,” Duquesne sophomore forward Brianna Moore assessed. “We had a lot of possession and we just kept fighting even though it was a close game. We had a lot of opportunities to put some goals away. We weren’t able to finish them, but I thought even with that being said, we were staying on top, fighting and putting pressure on them to create opportunities for ourselves.”
While both teams looked to establish meaningful possessions, each side was tested by a lightning delay which when combined with some strong rainfall totaled nearly an hour.
Just over two minutes into the delay, Duquesne had a breakthrough moment when Morgan Kulniszewski found Moore on the run with plenty of space. Moore had an angle and fired a shot which found a home on the top right side of the net.
This was good for Moore’s second goal of the season and Kulniszewski’s fourth assist of the season and third in the last 96-plus minutes of game action.
“I turned and saw a wide-open goal and wanted to shoot and shot it,” stated Moore. “I was really happy with that. Morgan is doing really well and finding that final finish really well. She’s doing a great job getting on that second ball and finding the open player.”
In Sunday’s win, Duquesne used the hydration breaks to regroup and the same could be said for being back in the locker room anxiously awaiting the lightning delay to end.
Both moments of adversity resulted in quick scores.
“You never know how your team is going to come out and try to keep them together and focused with the hopes we’ll come out really sharp,” Duquesne coach Al Alvine said. “There were only 15 minutes left in the first half, so you’re warming up for 10 minutes, playing 15 minutes and then it’s half. We came out fine after the delay and scored a great goal.”
In the second half, Alvine had some disappointment in that he felt his team at times played FDU’s game including on a set piece where the Knights moved quickly and some of the Dukes had yet to turn around the brace for the play.
All told, it did not affect the score though Duquesne certainly spent more time in proximity to its own box than likely was desired.
Duquesne’s triumph concluded the home portion of this non-conference slate with a Sunday 1 p.m. road test at Kent State all that stands between Atlantic 10 play.
In the first seven games, six different Dukes have scored led by sophomore forward Maya Matesa’s three. Another six players have at least one assist led by Kulniszewski’s four.
Past Duquesne teams have had players who amassed large goal totals, but this widespread effort is something which truly pleases Alvine.
“It means a lot and they score goals in different ways as well,” said Alvine. “I would much rather have a balanced scoresheet than just have one kid be responsible for those. If we’re going to get 15 goals, I’d rather get them from five people than one or two. I think we’ve got some kids who are close to scoring that haven’t even scored yet. Hopefully they’re saving them up for the conference schedule.”
Though the A-10 opener at Davidson is a week away, there was still room to reflect on the non-conference schedule and the learning lessons provided.
Alvine believes the Dukes are playing better soccer and doing so as a cohesive unit, making him happy with the team’s current progress.
For Moore, she also expressed plenty of optimism as the quest for an Atlantic 10 championship kicks up a notch.
“We came out with a hard start losing some games and kind of being up and down,” Moore concluded. “With this being our last non-conference home game, we can take some key things away from this but there is still room to grow and fix some things. We’re heading into Kent State strong and get a win there and go into conference play looking for more wins.”
Duquesne starters (3-4-0)– Maddy Neundorfer (GK), Karley Steinher, Libby Majka, Margey Brown, Lindsay Krafchick, Jaimi Araujo, Mackenzie Leeder, Anna Campanella, Jayden Sharpless, Mackenzie Muir, Maya Matesa
FDU starters (0-7-0)– Marie Jakobsen (GK), Leighann Kafel, Naemi Hausen, Laura Martinez, Andrea Ougaard, Anna Cacciuttolo, Kiomy Luperon, Lina Dimberger, Ana Salas, Nina Carlomusto, Helena Lehr
Goal– Brianna Moore DUQ (2nd 32′)
Cautions– Brianna Moore DUQ 71′, DUQ bench 79′, Emily Villanueva FDU 88′
Shots– DUQ 17 (7 on frame), FDU 12 (2 on frame)
Corners– DUQ 4, FDU 1