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Duquesne beats Richmond, 3-0, earning a return trip to A-10 Championship

Photo credit: Pittsburgh Soccer Now/Zachary Weiss

The Duquesne Women’s Soccer Team experienced a second-half scoring barrage winning its regular season finale 3-0 over Richmond Sunday afternoon at Rooney Field and in doing so secured a return trip to the Atlantic 10 Championship.

By accomplishing this, the Dukes will be in the championship for consecutive seasons since 2016-17, finishing fifth in the A-10 both seasons.

“It has absolutely become the new standard,” Duquesne graduate student forward Jaimi Araujo said.

“I know that in future seasons the young girls on the team won’t accept anything less than an A-10 tournament appearance. I am so proud of the work we have put in this season that allowed us to get to this point, especially in finishing back-to-back in the top 5 of the conference, but the work isn’t done yet.”

Coming into the contest, Duquesne needed a victory to assure a championship berth, but other results allowed the Dukes to move further up in the standings.

Duquesne had a nervy first half but was able to keep the contest scoreless. With that being said the halftime emphasis came down to breaking the ice and getting a goal which proved elusive 45 minutes in.

A key for the Dukes in the second half was a decisive 8-1 corner margin. Though Duquesne does not practice corners too often in training, two such goals were scored.

“We emphasized before the last game at SLU that we needed to be more dedicated to winning corners,” stated Araujo. “The team has talked endlessly about wanting it more than the person defending you in those situations and we were finally able to connect on those today. It’s a big confidence booster going into playoffs and knowing that we can be dangerous in those situations.”

The first came on a 54th minute set piece where Mackenzie Muir found freshman midfielder Jayden Sharpless, who after coming close several times this season, achieved a breakthrough with her first goal of the season.

“I think coming out in the second half with that urgency and energy helped us a ton,” graduate student Anna Campanella remarked. “We were determined to put one in the back of the net which Jayden did a great job starting that off.”

As Duquesne’s momentum continued, it was clear that one goal would not satisfy the hosts, and nine minutes later, Campanella would earn her first goal as a Duke as teammate Margey Brown’s corner got punched by Richmond goalkeeper Taylor Montague, but a strong header found the back of the net.

“I think it calmed us down a little bit but also knew we needed to get a second one, so we kept the pressure on,” reflected Campanella. “I’ve been wanting to score off a corner this whole season and I’ve been so determined to, but I finally found that perfect opportunity to execute it.”

Freshman Anna Bundy would conclude Duquesne’s trio of scores as Richmond’s clear, led to her right-footed effort, which curved into the top-right portion of the goal.

Given Richmond’s central formation, Duquesne coach Al Alvine explained to the ESPN+ broadcast following the victory that his team’s game plan was to exploit the wide areas and get services into the box.

He considered the 90 minutes a mission accomplished.

Now Duquesne’s mentality will shift towards the A-10 Championships and a 2 p.m. contest Friday afternoon against Massachusetts.

The two teams met Sept. 28 in a 1-1 draw contested at Rooney Field.

“We felt after the last UMass game that we probably should’ve put a few away had we finished our opportunities,” Araujo assessed. “Knowing we tied in our previously match with them just shows that it’s anyone’s game. I think more than ever we are selling out to score goals and pushing to get numbers in the box. It’s always hard to go there and get a result- but if any group is going to do it, it’s this team. We have a great balance of experienced players, and young, hungry underclassmen. It should be a great game and is definitely one that we are more than capable of putting away.”

For Campanella this has been a chance to play with her sister Ally but also be part of a team which she has considered a blessing.

“We as a team have worked so hard for this and have put so much on the line for one another,” Anna Campanella explained. “It’s been such a blessing playing with these girls and has been so much fun.”

Araujo is in her fifth season with the program and admits that knowing she played her last game at Rooney Field made her extremely emotional.

Despite that emotion, she knows there is still plenty of soccer to be played and that continues Friday.

“I’ve had the time of my life. I am so unbelievably grateful for the past five years with this program,” she concluded. “I think most of us (seniors) were a bit of an emotional mess this week and today especially. I probably didn’t go more than an hour or two without some tears. I think we can all walk away knowing we did everything we could to make our mark on the program. I wouldn’t have traded my time here for anything. I’ve been able to meet some of my best friends and have some of the most fun experiences. It’s bittersweet that my time here is almost up, but I am so thankful for the time that I had.”


Duquesne starters (7-7-4, 4-2-4 A-10)– Maddy Neundorfer (GK), Karley Steinher, Libby Majka, Margey Brown, Lindsay Krafchick, Anna Campanella, Jayden Sharpless, Eva LaVecchia, Mackenzie Muir, Brianna Moore, Maya Matesa

Richmond starters (3-11-4, 1-8-1 A-10)– Taylor Montague (GK), Caitlyn Sutton, Kiley Fitzgerald, Elle Dziadzio, Marisa Snee, Hannah Antonick, Molly Wierman, Gwen Howell, JoJo McShane, Sofia Mancino, Casey Merz

Goals– Jayden Sharpless DUQ (1st, 54′), Anna Campanella DUQ (1st, 63′), Anna Bundy DUQ (3, 71′)

Caution– Karley Steinher DUQ 79′

Shots– Duquesne 17 (4 on frame) Richmond 6 (2 on frame)

Corner kicks- Duquesne 9 Richmond 1


Atlantic 10 Regular Season Standings (top eight advance to A-10 championships)

Saint Louis 28

La Salle 25

Dayton 23

Massachusetts 20

Duquesne 16

Rhode Island 15

Saint Joseph’s 15

VCU 14

Loyola Chicago 13

Fordham 9

George Mason 9

St. Bonaventure 8

Davidson 5

George Washington 4

Richmond 4

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