Duquesne women stepping up their game

Eric Purnell | For The Duquesne Duke

Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke Freshman forward Olivia Roberson dribbles the ball forward.
Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke
Freshman forward Olivia Roberson dribbles the ball forward.

Coming off a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against Niagara last week, the Duquesne women’s soccer team kept the ball rolling, taking down Robert Morris 3-1 for their second win in a row.

After starting off the season with a disappointing 1-4 record, the Dukes have bounced back strong going 2-0-1 in their last three games.

Their most recent win, on Tuesday night, was the team’s most statistically impressive one thus far this season, tallying team highs in shots (28), and goals (3).

Head coach Al Alvine was pleased with his team’s ability to get shots on net.

“[That] was something we stressed in particular for this game,” Alvine said. “To get a lot of shots on goal and create as many opportunities as possible. And the kids did a good job of that. Some quality shots too, some really good opportunities we had. I thought we were unfortunate not to be up 3 goals at half time.”

The Dukes didn’t just fill up the stat sheet in the shot column; they also controlled the ball for a majority of the game, translating to a visible offensive boom.

“[Ball control] is something that we work on every day in training. We want to possess the ball, we want to keep it,” Alvine said. “I was not that happy with the way that we possessed the ball, especially in the first half. I thought that we looked a little bit rushed, a little bit panicked on the ball. The second half was better. I thought that we possessed the ball better, were more composed, and kept it.”

Sophomore Amy Vinopal addressed the early season struggles, but sees promise for the future. Vinopal mentioned that with the youth on the team entails “a lot of getting used to each other. We have a lot of new girls on the field, and it’s a lot to get used to, especially in this game, because you gotta play it together.”

Vinopal later added that the stress on scoring has really helped her team.

“We’ve been practicing finishing a lot lately. It’s really just a commitment to get to the goal before they do, and we did that today,” she said.

That practice was evident, as Vinopal led the way in the scoring department with two of the Dukes’ three goals.

With two straight wins and a very young team that started six freshmen, there is a lot to be optimistic about for the women’s soccer program. For the first time this season, momentum is on their side, and it is something they look to build on going forward.

Following the win, Alvine said, “It’s about building momentum, it’s about getting into the habit of scoring goals… and today was a three goal game for us, which is great. We struggled to score goals [earlier in the season] so anytime we can score goals it’s great.”

The team looks to build on this victory and score more goals against the New Jersey Institute of Technology this Friday night at 5 p.m. at Rooney Field.