Men’s soccer extends home win streak

Claire Murray | Photo Editor
Claire Murray | Photo Editor
Claire Murray | Photo Editor

Marie Jubert | The Duquesne Duke

Under the lights and in front of an impressive turnout for a Thursday evening, the Duquesne men’s soccer team extended their home winning streak (5-0) by defeating Robert Morris University 4-1.

Duquesne excelled creating shot opportunities throughout the match. The team notched 23 shots and held RMU to only eight.

“We can definitely create chances,” head coach Chase Brooks said. “All of our players want to get forward and get on the score sheet each game. We need to focus on capitalizing on those chances though, because we easily could have won by a larger margin tonight. If we want to win a championship, we will need to score more goals.”

Duquesne forward Kadeem Pantophlet was the first Duke to score on a header with an assist from Isaiah Noreiga in the 36th minute. Pantophlet is now tied with Fredrik Borenstein in the team lead with four goals.

Pantophlet said he approaches each game eager to score. He knows that as a forward, and expects that of himself every time he steps on the field.

Sophomore midfielder Dorian Kouame scored the second goal of the game for the Red & Blue with an assist from sophomore defender Chris Alescio in the 54th minute. The goal was Kouame’s second of the season. Shortly thereafter in the 71st minute, junior midfielder Thomas de Villardi scored his first goal of the season on an assist from sophomore midfielder Brian Fegley. De Villardi’s goal gave the Dukes a comfortable 3-0 lead.

RMU mounted a brief comeback in the 76th minute when Speedy Williams scored the Colonials’ first and only goal of the game. Duquesne rallied and answered with a goal of its own ten seconds later.

Senior midfielder Karter Sell quickly made fans forget about the goal with a tally of his own on an assist from Borenstein. The goal was Sell’s first on the season.

“Although I’ve scored goals before, it felt good to get a load off of my shoulders by scoring my first of the season,” Sell said.

The Dukes are looking to play with the same level of intensity and enthusiasm when they hit the road this weekend for the first of three consecutive away games. They will face West Virginia on Oct. 5, and then kick off their conference schedule on Oct. 12 at St. Bonaventure and again on the road against St. Louis on Oct. 17.

Brooks is not phased by the team’s upcoming hiatus from Rooney and knows that the team is ready to take on the challenge.

“We scheduled early away matches in order to get acclimated so that we would be ready for conference games on the road,” Brooks said.

Sell also believes that he and his teammates are well equipped for this crucial stretch of games.

“We have been focused at practice and working hard to make the switch and be the same on the road as we are at home,” he said.

According to Sell, the reason for his team’s success stems from outstanding camaraderie on and off the field. He said early season results make it evident that the Dukes can play cohesively from game to game.

Pantophlet said that the team’s depth is its most admirable asset.

“When someone off of the bench comes into the game it doesn’t hurt the team, it enables other people to refresh their legs: that’s all. I believe that everyone brings something to the team,” he said.

The depth of the team has been crucial this season due to the number of injuries that have occurred so far. In the match, freshman midfielder Jason Twum left the game with an injury.

Brooks was not worried about finishing the game strong.

“We have a deep squad; we can go to the bench and raise the level of play. We’ll see what the injury was and evaluate the situation over the weekend,” he said.

The Dukes will return to Rooney Field on Oct 24 at 7 p.m. for their first conference game at home against Virginia Commonwealth University.