Dukes battle Colonials in double OT, end up tying

Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke

Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke Freshman midfielder Maddie Layman prepares to strike the ball in Sunday’s game at Rooney Field.
Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke
Freshman midfielder Maddie Layman prepares to strike the ball in Sunday’s game at Rooney Field.

Regulation and two 10 minute overtimes weren’t enough for both the Duquesne and George Washington women’s soccer teams Sunday as both squads failed to find the back of the net, making the final outcome of the match 0-0.

The Dukes took to the field flashing new white jerseys with pink numbers and a pink ribbon on their shoulders in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ladies took control early in the game after handling the ball very well and taking up much of the possession time.

The only real scoring opportunity took place at the Dukes end of the field though as a George Washington forward rang the ball off the crossbar of the goal but it failed to sneak past Dukes goaltender Ashley Szalwinski. The Red & Blue headed to the locker room out shooting the Colonials 8-6.

Early in the second half, Szalwinski was forced to make three straight saves off a George Washington player, which drew cheers from the students and parents in attendance on the cold afternoon.

Duquesne earned two corner kicks, which were both decent chances to put the Dukes on the scoreboard but both times the girls failed to cash them in. A final break away with 5 minutes left by freshman Maddie Layman was Duquesne’s best chance all day but a good defensive maneuver by a George Washington player kept the score at nil before heading to overtime.

Both overtimes mirrored the first two halves with both sides unable to generate quality scoring opportunities. The Dukes had one last opportunity to get the win with a late corner kick but once again, they were unable to put it past the Colonials goaltender.

Though the game ended in a tie, head coach Al Alvine thought it was a just ending to a hard fought game.

“I think we possessed the ball pretty well,” Alvine said. “We had the ball for the majority of the first half, and it was more sporadic during the second.”

Senior midfielder Stephanie Colon agreed but thinks there is room for improvement.

“We can definitely improve on scoring,” Colon said. “Besides that, we kept the ball. We didn’t stop playing so it was all good.”

Szalwinski believes the team did a good job of not giving up.

“I think we did a good job of playing two games this weekend,” Szalwinski said. “Sometimes we come out and play a really solid Friday game and then Sunday it is a total drop off. I think today’s game was pretty equal with it’s intensity and communication.”

With only four games left before the Atlantic-10 playoffs, the team must buckle down and look for every member to step up their game for the final stretch of the season according to the Szalwinski.

“I think it’s time for one of them [the freshmen] to step up,” Szalwinski said. “The sooner they grasp the role of being a leader, it’s going to be great for this team.

Alvine believes there is only one goal for this team now.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs,” Alvine said. “So in order for us to do that we probably have to win two games out of our last four. If we can do that, I think we got a pretty good shot. We need to take it one game at a time.”

The Dukes last win came against St Bonaventure on Oct. 5. Since then the Dukes have went 1-2-1 and are looking to bounce back next week as they head out to the University of Richmond to take on the Spiders at 7:30 on Friday. LaSalle, Fordham and Rhode Island will close out the Dukes season and they hope to continue their season when the Atlantic-10 playoffs begin on Nov. 7.