Brentaro Yamane | Layout/Multimedia Editor
Sept. 1, 2022
The 2022 campaign couldn’t have started any better for the Duquesne men’s soccer team.
The season started with a 1-0 victory at Michigan. The win was Duquesne’s second win all-time against a Big Ten Conference team, and it was the program’s first victory over a Power 5 program since Sept. 3, 2003.
On Sunday, the Dukes earned their second-consecutive shutout in a 1-0 win at Canisius.
Duquesne was back in action on Wednesday, collecting another road victory. The Dukes defeated Robert Morris 2-1 in a non-conference matchup at North Athletic Complex.
The Dukes were able to earn a 3-0 start to the season after Dukes defender Cameron Territo, a transfer student from Western Illinois, scored the game-winning goal in the game’s 47th minute. Territo enjoyed the feeling of scoring his first goal as a Duke, and credits his teammates for setting him up for glory.
“It’s a great feeling,” Territo said. “We’re starting 3-0. It’s my first goal as a Duke, but I cannot do it without my teammates.”
Duquesne has had its way over Robert Morris recently. In the past six head-to-head matches, the Dukes are 5-0-1.
After the Dukes took a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute behind a goal from Logan Muck, Robert Morris struck back 10 minutes later. Colonials forward Logan Gilley tied the game at 1 after taking a shot that bounced in a weird direction. It was a shot that Duquesne goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben couldn’t track down.
That is the only goal that Nascimben has given up so far this season. After that first goal, the Dukes’ defense and Nascimben stood strong for the rest of the game.
“Dom’s been great. He’s such a hard worker,” said Duquesne Head Coach Chase Brooks. “He’s one of the best shot-stoppers I’ve ever seen in the college game, and I can’t say enough good things about him.
“I give a lot of credit to the guys in front of him, too. We’re blocking a lot of shots, and we’re protecting him in a lot of ways, which is great.”
After the Colonials tied the game, they started gaining momentum. They were recording more shots, earning more corner-kick opportunities and committing fewer fouls in the first half.
“In the first half, they caused us a bit of trouble,” Brooks said. “They were finding gaps in our defense. But in the second half, we were able to make some changes and were able to counter that pretty well.”
It was a physical game, as both teams committed more than 10 fouls. While some of those fouls could have been controversial, the Dukes knew that they had to find a way to win.
“Away from home, the refs are always going to be against you,” Muck said. “We’ve just got to stick to our principles like we did. We just dealt with it as a team and kept working. It was a little physical, the refs were calling weaker fouls, and it is what it is.”
The Dukes’ next game is on Tuesday night, when they host James Madison at Rooney Field. The game will serve as Duquesne’s home opener.
Duquesne fans showed up to the non-conference road game on Wednesday. The players noticed, and they fed off the support.
“It’s great to have the fans come, especially to an away game,” Muck said. “They brought the energy, and we love seeing them here.”
With how the season has started for the Dukes, there is a lot of optimism that it can be just as successful as 2021, when Duquesne made it all the way to the Atlantic 10 Conference’s championship game.
Brooks has recognized and appreciated the immediate success.
“We couldn’t ask for a better start,” he said. “The guys are grinding. They are working hard. They bought into the process, and that’s what we need.
“It doesn’t matter who comes off the bench. Everybody was eager and ready to go, and that’s what we need.”
The Dukes have already won more road games (three) this season than in 2021 (two).
“We just take it one game at a time,” Territo said. “We don’t look ahead. We take [it] one day at a time.”