Marie Jubert | The Duquesne Duke
On a blustery Sunday afternoon at Rooney Field, the Duquesne men’s soccer team shut out the University of Buffalo 3-0, and improved to 4-0-0 at home this season.
The Red & Blue were able to capitalize on a number of scoring opportunities during the game, especially on corner kicks. Sophomore Mamadou Traore and senior Nick DiSomma, both defenders, scored goals on corner kicks with an assists from sophomore midfielder Dorian Kouame. Freshman midfielder Fredrik Borenstein also contributed a goal. He continues an impressive campaign and remains the team’s leading goal scorer with four.
The Red & Blue gained valuable experience against top competition last weekend in Oregon, but have yet to win a game on the road this season.
Coach Chase Brooks owes part of the teams’ success at home to the atmosphere at Rooney Field.
“Look around – there are great crowds, an intimate atmosphere, and family and friends here to support us,” he said.
As for translating success at home to wins on the road, Brooks explained his team will “continue to battle and learn as we climb closer and closer to the desired end result.”
With junior goalkeeper Sam Frymier sidelined due to injury, junior Evan Kozlowski capitalized on his opportunity to help the team.
Brooks had no doubt in his mind that Kozlowski was ready to start in Sunday’s game.
“Evan has been working hard all year long, and I have the utmost confidence in [him],” Brooks said. Brooks also explained that it is a team effort, and that there is always someone ready to step in as needed due to the strength of their roster.
Kozlowksi seemed fearless in his first action in front of net for the Dukes. He knew he had the talent to do his job. Even during the pre-game warm ups, he remained as calm, collected, and confident as ever. He finished with six saves and notched his first career shutout.
“The energy level starts in training, which then later translates into the game,” Kozlowski said, reiterating that he and his teammates need to push each other during practice in order to see results during games.
Although the Dukes have suffered a number of injuries across the board early in the season, the team knows they have the depth and talent to continue to compete.
“We recruited specifically knowing that soccer is a physically intense sport,” Brooks said. “We have many guys on the team who have stepped in nicely during this non conference stretch of the season.”
Sunday’s win against UB was especially sweet for senior Nick DiSomma. As a defender, DiSomma does not have many opportunities to finish. As a matter of fact, his goal on Sunday was his first as a Duke. He said he used his size to tally a goal of his own on the scorer’s sheet.
“We have lots of height on the team, so we always try to use height and size to our advantage whenever we can,” he said.
DiSomma is no stranger to Duquesne soccer; he was one of five players to play during each match last season. As one of eight seniors on the team, he said they all work together to seize the opportunity and lead by example.
“There are eight seniors on the team, and at least one senior a day steps up and sets an example,” he said.
DiSomma however, said one goal remains before he graduates from Duquesne.
“Having the opportunity to win an A-10 Championship is obviously what I would like to see happen this year,” he said.
Due to the team’s extensive range of talent, perseverance, and leadership, the Dukes seem poised to make a run at that goal.
The Dukes will play at 7 p.m. Thursday against Robert Morris University at Rooney Field. They’ll play three straight road games against West Virginia, St. Bonaventure and St. Louis before returning to action at Rooney on Oct. 24.