2021-22 Duke Awards: The Duke recognizes remarkable Duquesne players, coaches and teams for their successes over the past year

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | Members of the Duquesne men’s soccer team celebrate after Jaime Borjas’ (No. 2) game-winning goal over Saint Joseph’s in the opening round of the 2021 Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Championship.

by Luke Henne | sports editor

April 28, 2022

Men’s Team of the Year: Soccer

Under ninth-year head coach Chase Brooks, the men’s soccer team went 10-7-2 and posted its highest win total since winning 11 games in 2006. With a 3-3-2 conference record, the Dukes earned their first trip to the Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Championship since 2016. Sixth-seeded Duquesne stunned third-seeded Saint Joseph’s 2-1 in the opening round, scoring two goals in the game’s final 5:06 en route to earning its first conference-tournament win since 2002. The Dukes then took down second-seeded Rhode Island 2-1 in the semifinals to earn a trip to the tournament’s championship game. In the title match, Duquesne jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against top-seeded Saint Louis (nationally ranked No. 8), but ultimately fell by a 2-1 mark.

Women’s Team of the Year: Bowling

Head Coach Jody Fetterhoff has now guided the women’s bowling team to a winning record in each of its six years since inception prior to the 2016-17 season. This year’s team went 63-36, with marquee wins over teams ranked nationally in the top 10 such as Arkansas State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Mount St. Mary’s (twice), North Carolina A&T (three times), Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin (twice), Vanderbilt and Youngstown State. The Dukes did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Bowling Championship, but finished the season ranked 12th in the NCAA’s Ratings Power Index (RPI) poll and fourth in a Northeast Conference that saw three of its teams go to the NCAA’s marquee event.

Men’s Athlete of the Year: Darius Perrantes

Entering a season in which he wasn’t even expected to be the football team’s starting quarterback, Perrantes found himself as the man under center after starter Joe Mischler suffered an opening-week injury at TCU. The next week, the transfer from Rhode Island threw for 194 yards and a touchdown in his first start at Duquesne, guiding the Dukes past Ohio 28-26 for the team’s first win over an FBS opponent in school history. The brother of former Virginia basketball standout London Perrantes threw for 1,620 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. His average of 180 passing yards per game was good for third best in the Northeast Conference, and the Los Angeles native was named NEC Offensive Player of the Week on two occasions. Perrantes and the Dukes will open the 2022 campaign at Florida State on Aug. 27.

Women’s Athlete of the Year: Olivia Farwell

As a graduate student, Farwell was named a National Tenpins Coaches Association All-American for the fourth time in her career. She was also recognized as the NTPCA Bowler of the Year. Farwell helped the women’s bowling team to 63 wins this year, and she also finished in second place at the Intercollegiate Singles Championship.

Senior Athlete of the Year: Alana Piano

The Brockport, N.Y., native started in each of the women’s lacrosse team’s 16 regular-season contests, ranking fourth in goals (31), second in assists (eight) and tied for third in points (39). She also scored game-winning goals in wins over George Mason on April 14 and St. Bonaventure last Saturday. In the regular season’s final-three games, Piano averaged four goals per contest helping propel the Dukes into the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2019. She scored Duquesne’s last A-10-tournament goal, which came in an opening-round loss to Richmond on April 25, 2019.

Newcomer of the Year: Delaney Rodriguez-Shaw

In her first year with the women’s lacrosse team, Rodriguez-Shaw started in all 16 regular-season contests, pacing the Dukes in goals (42), assists (11), points (53) and shots on goal (72). She scored at least three goals in nine of Duquesne’s 16 regular-season games, including a six-goal performance in an April 14 win over George Mason. She was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week on four occasions, finishing the regular season ranked fifth in the conference in goals per game (2.63) and sixth in points per game (3.31). She’ll get the opportunity to return to her home state of Massachusetts, when A-10 tournament action gets underway from Amherst, Mass., on Thursday.

Most Improved Team: Women’s Lacrosse

The women’s lacrosse team continues to grow under Head Coach Corinne Desrosiers this season, earning a spot in the Atlantic 10 Women’s Lacrosse Championship for the first time since 2019. After going 4-5 in 2021, the Dukes are sitting at 7-9 through the end of the regular season. After losing five-straight games between March 25 and April 8, Duquesne was 3-9 and 0-5 in Atlantic 10 Conference action. Desrosiers rallied her bunch, and the Dukes won four games in a row to close out the regular season. Four players (Delaney Rodriguez-Shaw, Tina St. Clair, Sam King and Alana Piano) have scored 30-plus goals. Fifth-seeded Duquesne will take on fourth-seeded Davidson on Thursday.