Sean McKean | Staff Writer
On Friday night, the Duquesne men’s Soccer team fell to Davidson College in the Atlantic 10 Tournament 2-1. The loss marks the end of its season.
Coming off two victories in a row against Wright State and La Salle, confidence was high for the Dukes, but from the start, the game was going to be a challenge. In the knockout-style A-10 tournament, it was a must-win for both sides.
As the game started, the Dukes tried taking control of the ball, getting two corner kicks for some early opportunities. A shot from Tom Tzabari looked promising, but the goal did not come to fruition.
However, the Wildcats got through Duquesne’s defense. After a shot from Ask Ekeland swung left, possession went to the Wildcats. During the possession, Denis Krioutchenkov scored a goal for them, putting Davidson up by one in only the 11th minute.
Following the goal, the Dukes struggled to regroup. In the minutes following the goal, Krioutchenkov and teammate Vincent Bennage got shots at the net, but these were saved by Duquesne goalkeeper Zoltan Nagy.
In the 23rd minute, the Dukes looked to have finally regrouped. Things, however, did not get any easier, as they and the Wildcats jockeyed for possession for the next 10 minutes. Despite many shots going up during this time frame, none of them ended up materializing into goals for either side.
Ask Ekeland then scored an equalizing goal in the 36th minute from just outside the box, knotting the game at one. Though the Wildcats tried to fight back; a shot from Zack Brown nearly giving the advantage back, the score remained tied at halftime.
Coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Dukes were visibly confident, and it showed in their playing. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, they put five shots near the goal, but none would ever turn into point-scoring opportunities.
Noticing Duquesne’s aggression, the Wildcats amped up their play. They responded with three shots of their own from Bennage, Luke Bryant and Maddux Reece, but like the Dukes, these did not turn into goals either.
With so many shots being put on the board, the last half became a defensive-minded battle quickly. As time ran down, pressure and fatigue went up, and it culminated in a goal from Vincent Bennage, putting the Wildcats up by one once more in the 77th minute.
The Dukes tried to fight back, attempting two more shots before game’s end, but it wouldn’t be enough, and they fell, 2-1.