Grace Heidinger | Staff Writer
Oct. 7, 2021
The Duquesne women’s soccer team went 1-0-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference play over the past week, defeating Richmond by a 3-1 score on Thursday evening before playing to a scoreless draw with Davidson on Sunday afternoon.
With the win and tie, the Dukes improved their overall record to 4-5-2.
In Thursday’s home contest with Richmond, the Dukes’ offense controlled the field in the first half, scoring three goals on eight shots against the Spiders.
After receiving a deflected pass from Ashley Rodriguez, Jaimi Araujo found Cami Taylor in front of the net, and Taylor capitalized on the chance, giving the Dukes a 1-0 lead in the game’s 12th minute. The goal was Taylor’s first of the season and first as a Duke.
Later in the first half, the Dukes put a stranglehold on the game, as Hannah Nguyen and Karley Steinher each scored goals to extend Duquesne’s lead to 3-0.
In the 35th minute, Steinher cleared the ball to Nguyen, who scored on a breakaway. Less than three minutes later, a corner kick from Nguyen found Steinher in front of the net, where she headed the ball past Richmond goalkeeper Claire Hinkle.
“Hannah and I both assisting on each other’s goals was a pretty cool accomplishment for the both of us,” Steinher told The Duke.
The Dukes’ defense kept the Spiders off the scoreboard until the 80th minute of the contest. Emma Coleman snuck the ball past Duquesne defenders and goalkeeper Megan Virgin to bring the Spiders within two goals.
The Spiders continued to test the Dukes for the remainder of the match. However, Virgin stood strong in net, helping Duquesne earn its second A-10 victory of the season.
“Thursday’s win was big for us. Our team works so hard,” Steinher said. “We have been through so much, but I think that has brought us all closer on and off the field. We all play for each other.”
Duquesne — still in search of its first road win of the campaign — earned a tie in its road clash with Davidson on Sunday afternoon.
Virgin made four saves in the tie, earning her first shutout of the season. She was later honored as the A-10 Defensive Player of the Week.
“The team did a great job making play predictable in front of me and giving me the opportunity to make saves I needed to make to keep us in the game,” Virgin said.
Throughout the first half, Duquesne outshot Davidson five to one, with five different Dukes contributing to those attempts. The Dukes had possession of the ball for a majority of the first half, but the score remained 0-0 heading into halftime.
In the 49th minute, a corner kick by Nguyen sparked a scoring attempt for the Dukes. However, Sarah Wilkinson’s shot hit the post, and Davidson goalkeeper Emily Smith prevented a subsequent shot by Lexy Kendro from going in.
Once Davidson got possession of the ball around the 50th mintue, they had two prime shots to break the tie before time expired in regulation. Virgin made two crucial saves to keep the competition going.
A scoreless first overtime called for a second overtime. In the final minute of the second overtime, the Dukes kept the game scoreless after clearing a Davidson free kick.
Virgin and her teammates remain optimistic following the pair of A-10 games.
“They were both great team efforts,” Virgin said. “They put us in a great position heading into the second portion of conference play.”
Duquesne has a week off before heading to Fairfax, Va., to face George Mason in another Sunday afternoon affair.
Since George Mason joined the A-10 prior to the 2013 season, the Dukes have won five of their six meetings with the Patriots, with the most-recent victory coming on Oct. 6, 2019.