By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne men’s soccer team tallied their first Atlantic 10 loss by dropping their Saturday night matchup to the Dayton Flyers by a final score of 2-1. With the loss, the team has fallen to 2-6-1 overall before Wednesday night’s game against La Salle.
Junior redshirt keeper Evan Kozlowski’s effort in goal carried his team, especially in the second half. Kozlowski finished the game with seven total saves; five of which were made in the second half.
“I’d do anything for them, and they’d do the same for me,” Kozlowski said. “I think we just got away from what we were successful on in the first half, keeping the ball and moving forward, and it came back to haunt us.”
The game remained scoreless after 30 minutes in the first half, with no big opportunities for either club. Midfielder Fredrik Borenstein’s one-timer finally lit up the board with 15 minutes to go in the half, initiated by a nice setup from senior redshirt defenseman Colin Phillips.
Phillips was happy to help his team with the assist, but was more relieved that his team won the race to the first goal of the game against Dayton.
“Getting an assist is always a good thing, but as far as I’m concerned, the ball went in the back of the net, and I’m glad it was me, but it could have been any of the guys out there,” Phillips said.
In this low-scoring match, every shot counted as Duquesne and Dayton fought hard for possession. In the end, Dayton racked up 32 shots, surpassing the Dukes’ nine.
The Flyers kicked off the remaining half determined to find the equalizer, and ultimately the game-winner. Both the Duquesne and Dayton netminders spent the second half making diving-saves off a few good opportunities for both teams.
At around the 18-minute mark, Kozlowski nearly made a huge stop against the Flyers, but it wasn’t enough. Dayton stood relentless, eventually beating the Duquesne goalie with 24 minutes to go. The Flyers kept the majority of play in the Duquesne zone, racking up 22 shots just in the remaining half.
With a chance to gain the lead, Dayton charged the Duquesne offense nonstop in the remainder of the second half. The Flyers produced a devastating goal in the last two minutes of the match, gaining the conclusive advantage over the Dukes.
“We just let it slip away in the second half,” Borenstein explained. “We were just a little bit switched-off. We lost a lot of our individual battles and they were more on than us.”
Coach Chase Brooks felt that his team simply lost focus in how they wanted to play.
“Those are the types of games that you can’t get away from what you’re doing. You have to put your foot down and go even faster,” Brooks said.
“A-10 is a brand new season. We’re on the cusp. We’re a good team, and we’re just trying to get over that last hurdle. We’ve got to put the work in and get back after it on Wednesday.”
As it stands, the Dukes are ranked 12 out of 13 in the conference standings. Dayton holds the first overall spot followed by Fordham and George Washington.
Wednesday night the Dukes topped La Salle 3-2 in double-ot. With the win, Duquesne is 3-6-1 overall.