By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne men’s soccer team lost a close one Friday night against Marshall University in the Dukes’ home opener at Rooney Field, dropping their record to 1-1.
Duquesne recorded 10 total shots in the match with junior midfielder Diego Vieira leading his team with four in 60 minutes of play. In just his second start as a Duke, freshman midfielder Matthew Rochowski had two shots. Heading into the match, Rochowski was eager to make an immediate impact against the Thundering Herd.
“I was just feeling like coming in as the center forward I had to get a goal,” Rochowski said. “I wanted to try to take every opportunity I could charging defense, putting them under pressure, making them nervous.”
In the first half, Marshall’s lack of discipline gave the Dukes the advantage in shots, winning in that column 4-2. The Thundering Herd let up five fouls in the first period and Duquesne had three corner kick opportunities. Out of their scoring chances, the Dukes made one shot on goal, while neither of Marshall’s shots required a save by senior goalkeeper Sam Frymier.
By the second half, the game became a goalkeeper’s dual. The Dukes doubled the amount of fouls allowed by Marshall in the first half, giving up six and despite their four corner kicks, Duquesne fell short to Marshall’s shots, 8-6 in the second half. Frymier didn’t relate the Duke’s loss to poor defensive play.
“I thought the team did well and worked hard for each other trying to block shots,” Frymier said. “Even on the goal [senior midfielder] Alex Healion stuck his face six inches off the ground to take one to the chin, and it actually deflected off his chin before it went in.”
In the end, both teams put in evenly-matched efforts, yet Marshall was the only team able to capitalize on its opportunities. Despite a few close calls for the Dukes, they weren’t able to put one up on the board. With just around 12 minutes remaining in the contest, the Thundering Herd were able to beat the Duquesne defenders and ultimately Frymier.
Senior midfielder Alex Healion said his team played well together, but they need to keep working toward improvement.
“Marshall did well testing us and their physicality helped them, but we were finding ways through their defense,” Healion said. “We just need to stick to our style and keep working to better our quality in the attacking third.”
Head coach Chase Brooks plans to move forward from the loss and focus on the season’s long-term goal of competing at the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“It’s about where we finish, it’s not necessarily about the first two games,” Brooks said. “It’s about finishing strong, and being near the top of the A-10. That’s our goal. Overall we weren’t quite dangerous enough, and that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
The Dukes are currently sitting on one win and one loss this season, and will not enter conference play until the end of the month when they face St. Francis. This weekend, the Dukes will be hosting the Duquesne Invitational on Rooney Field where they will face off against Oregon State this Friday at 8:00 p.m. and then against Cleveland State at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.