MSOC draws Saint Joseph’s in home contest

Peter Boettger | Staff Photographer | Duquesne’s Maxi Hopfer (No. 10) attempts to defend Saint Joseph’s Kenyatta Collins (No. 2) in Wednesday’s scoreless tie. Hopfer had two shots (one on goal) in 69 minutes worth of action.

Brentaro Yamane | Layout/Multimedia Editor

Oct. 6, 2022

Going into Wednesday, the Dayton, Duquesne and Saint Louis men’s soccer teams were in a three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference, with each team boasting a 2-0-1 record.

All three teams played on Wednesday. Dayton gained a point in a 1-1 tie against St. Bonaventure, while Saint Louis fell 3-2 to Rhode Island.

With Duquesne hosting Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night at Rooney Field, it was the perfect opportunity for the Dukes to move into sole possession of the conference’s top spot.

However, Duquesne failed to capitalize, and the team remains in a tie with Dayton for first place. The Dukes put together a stout defensive effort, but only earned one point in a scoreless draw with the Hawks.

It was a tale of two halves when it came to offensive chances. In the first half, Saint Joseph’s was able to get more looks, outshooting Duquesne 10-5. In the second half, the Dukes had a 9-5 edge over the Hawks.

“Ultimately, we lacked energy in the first half, but I’m happy [with] the way the guys responded in the second half and unfortunately we just couldn’t find the back of the net tonight,” said Duquesne Head Coach Chase Brooks. “You know, I always give the guys a few minutes in the locker room to talk amongst themselves, and then we come in and just provide a little bit of information and try to make sure we play a few things up.

“We talked about the energy in the first half. I think the subs came in and kind of turned the tide for us a little bit, but we just weren’t good enough specifically in the first half. Ultimately, the guys responded really nicely.”

Duquesne is still undefeated in its past 12 home games (last home loss came on March 27, 2021).

There were a combined 17 fouls in the contest. Brooks said that he was “not surprised it was a physical game.”

“I thought the refs did a good job overall at keeping control of it and not throwing around random cards,” Brooks said. “It’s all learning moments, something that hopefully will help us down the road.”

Duquesne starting goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben continued his consistent play, as he made six saves en route to earning his sixth shutout of the campaign.

“My defense was stellar, although we started slow,” Nascimben said. “I think my back five and two were very, very strong and making a lot of blocks as well, helping me making saves. I really appreciate them.

“They make my job a lot easier, and I credit them for even some saves I make. They really help me out, and they put a good shift in. I’m proud of the boys, and they definitely are a massive help. They’re an awesome group to work with.”

The Dukes will have a quick turnaround, as the team travels to George Mason for another A-10 contest on Saturday afternoon. Even though the Dukes were not able to pull out the victory, Brooks still has a lot of optimism for what his team has in store for the long run.

“This is a great group of men,” Brooks said. “I mean, you saw the disappointment on their faces after the game. I don’t think keeping them focused is really going to be a problem, if anything. Again, it’s just about cleaning things up, learning from our little mistakes and moving forward.”