Dukes attempt comeback, fall short

Addie Smith | Sports Editor

Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke Junior defenseman Nick DiSomma recovers the ball in the Dukes’ 2-0 loss Saturday.
Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke
Junior defenseman Nick DiSomma recovers the ball in the Dukes’ 2-0 loss Saturday.

The Duquesne men’s soccer team tried yet again to be the comeback kids on Saturday afternoon but fell just short in a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Billikens at Rooney Field.

The Dukes won the shots battle 15-7 and played on the Billikens’ side of the field for the majority of the game, but two fluke goals against sophomore goaltender Sam Frymier gave St. Louis a conference victory. Frymier cheated outside of his zone and St. Louis forward Raymond Lee took advantage of the open space for the Billikens’ first goal.

St. Louis is currently in first place in the Atlantic-10 and ranked 34th nationally; the Dukes are in eighth place in the conference and 66th nationally.

Coach Chase Brooks said the game boiled down to errors, and the Dukes had two too many.

“It was really a very tight game,” Brooks said. “We had our opportunities and the difference when you’re playing a top 25 team is who’s going to make the mistake and who’s going to capitalize on that mistake. Today we made two pretty big errors and they capitalized on both.”

With eight minutes remaining in the game, the St. Louis goalkeeper Nick Shackelford was issued a red card and ejected from the game after spitting towards junior forward Austin Lange. Lange received a yellow card after colliding with Shackelford shortly prior.

Junior defenseman Colin Phillips recorded three shots on net for the Dukes and said the early mistakes by the Red & Blue are what cost them the game.

“Starting in the first half, I didn’t think we played too bad,” Phillips said. “When you get to this certain level – we’re playing teams in the top 25 – teams are going to capitalize on the little mistakes that you make. That was kind of the story of the first half, two critical mistakes in our half [of the field] and they capitalized on them … We were down 2-0 because of it.”

Phillips added that one group of people on the field didn’t make it a loss, but all positions know that they need to work on things in the upcoming week.

“We got a little fired up at halftime and came out and played a good second half,” Phillips said. “We dominated the shots, dominated possession, but for some reason we couldn’t find the back of the net. That’s not just on our forwards, I mean, it’s our midfielders and our backs when we’re up there too. We all know the things that we have to do at practice and in the extra time to fix that up. Hopefully we can do that going into Rhode Island.”

The Dukes have three games remaining on the conference schedule. The top eight teams make the A-10 tournament. Of Duquesne’s three remaining opponents, two (George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth) are also in position to make the tournament. VCU is second overall in the conference and George Mason is third.

The A-10 tournament is going to be at the University of Dayton Nov. 14-17.

The Red & Blue will hit the road to face A-10 cellar dweller Rhode Island this weekend. The Rams are currently last in the conference with zero A-10 wins. They’ll tip off Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Kingston. The Dukes then return home for a two game weekend Nov. 8 and 10.