Sam Fatula | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne men’s soccer team came out with their fourth straight win of the season by defeating the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals 1-0 in a nail biter this Sunday.
The game’s only goal, scored by junior forward Josh Ellis, came in the 84th minute of regulation after the Cardinals’ goalkeeper dropped the ball inside of the box from a set piece outside the 18.
”Goals aren’t always going to be pretty,” first year head coach Chase Brooks said in response to the clincher. “The goalie was playing the near post, dropped the ball and we were opportunistic enough to finish that off.”
The Dukes (4-0) were able to keep the Cardinals’ (1-3) score sheet blank by the consistent play of sophomore goalkeeper Sam Frymier.
”Sam has been incredible for us,” Brooks said. “We needed his strong play today, and four straight shutouts is amazing.”
Frymier remains humble and gives the majority of the credit to his teammates. He stopped nine Cardinal shots throughout the game.
”I see myself as the last line of defense,” Frymier said. “There’s 11 defenders out there on the field, and I’m always the last one, so I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates too.”
Frymier’s strong play cannot be denied, but after stopping a penalty kick in the first half it is hard not to receive praise.
With 29:24 remaining in the first half of play, a late tackle inside the Dukes box led to one of the defining moments of the game, as Frymier guessed correctly on the penalty kick, making the save look easy.
”Can I just say that I knew he was going to make that save,” junior midfielder Filip Velasevic said after the game, giving the sophomore goalie a well-deserved pat on the back.
”You just have to be confident in times like that,” Frymier said. “You can’t second guess yourself, and we needed something to wake us up in that half.”
Velasevic was another huge asset in the win on Sunday, contributing to most of the Dukes chances for any scoring opportunities.
”I focused a lot on controlling the midfield play this preseason,” Velasevic said. “It’s still something I’m working on, but keeping the pace of the game is something all midfielders have to do well.”
Velasevic’s ability to get the ball moving into the attacking zone resulted in him setting up the play that gave the Dukes the late lead.
Before Frymier’s big save, the Dukes looked lethargic on the field, turning the ball over numerous times within the midfield and unable to generate scoring chances. The Cardinals had outshot the Dukes nine to four within the first 45 minutes.
Brooks noted the “lack of energy” the Dukes had in the first half compared to the “huge increase in pace” in the last 45 minutes of the match.
”Keeping up the energy was something we focused on a lot during the preseason this year,” Brooks said. “You have to play the whole 90 minutes to win games like this.”
The Dukes will hit road for a month, taking on Cleveland State next Wednesday. They will return home on Oct. 19 to take on St. Bonaventure.