MSOC falls to James Madison, beats Virginia Tech

Robbie Grill | Staff Writer

The Duquesne men’s soccer team started the season with mixed results, splitting a pair of contests in the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Invitational.

Duquesne lost the opening game to James Madison 3-1, but bounced back to defeat Virginia Tech 5-1.

In the latter game, midfielder Ask Ekeland scored a hat trick, the fourth in the program’s history and the first since Austin Lange’s in 2014.

Ekeland won the Atlantic-10 Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance over the two matches. In 112 minutes of action, he took six shots, with four on goal.

The Dukes opened their year against James Madison, who Duquesne beat and shut out last year on Rooney Field.
Duquesne went down early in the first half when James Madison’s Clay Obara scored in the 12th minute and less than four minutes later, Kevin Larsson doubled JMU’s advantage.

Fifteen minutes later, Larsson scored his second of the evening, leaving the Dukes three goals down 30 minutes into the season.

In the 57th minute, senior Cameron Territo scored. Jayden Da and Grant McIntosh were credited with assists.
Although the scoreline didn’t look too good for Duquesne, there were some indicators that their performance was not accurately reflected in the 3-1 loss.

In the second half, Duquesne outshot James Madison 12 to 5. Over the course of the whole game, Duquesne got off two more shots than James Madison did.
Just three days later, the Dukes would play their second game of the year against a Virginia Tech team looking to bounce back from a poor 2022 season.

The Hokies finished dead last in the ACC last year, not winning a single game within the conference. In this year’s preseason coaches poll, Virginia Tech was once again projected to finish last in the Coastal Division.

However, the Dukes fell behind early after a 21st minute goal by Virginia Tech’s Ethan Ballek. Conor Pugh shot a ball right through the middle of the box to find Ballek’s foot.

This time, however, Duquesne responded with a goal before the deficit got worse. Originally thought to be Zach Mowka’s goal, it was ultimately given to junior defender Christoffer Vie Angell, giving him his fourth goal as a Duke.

Although Virginia Tech outshot Duquesne 7-4 in the first half, Duquesne came out firing on all cylinders in the second half.

Junior forward Jayden Da scored his first goal of the year in the 53rd minute after finding himself on the end of a ball from Anthony DiFalco.

Just over two minutes later, the sophomore Ekeland found the back of the net for the first time of the game.

Ekeland would go on to score in the 62nd and 76th minutes to achieve a hat trick. Jaxon Ervin provided the assist for the second goal, while Tate Mohney and Cameron Territo were credited with assists on the third goal.

The Hokies went a man down in the 64th minute after sophomore midfielder Ben Fisher was shown a straight red card.

Duquesne narrowly outshot Virginia Tech 16-15 in the game.

Duquesne also successfully defended 11 corner kicks from the Hokies.

The Dukes will now turn their attention to their home opener on Thursday night, when they take on Bowling Green at 7. The Dukes have won two consecutive home openers, and will look to continue that streak against the Falcons, who are also 1-1.

Of six all-time matchups between the two programs, five have gone to overtime.

After that matchup, the Dukes will enjoy a 10-day break from action before a trip to New York to face Niagara.