By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
With a narrow win last Thursday night over George Mason, the Duquesne women’s soccer team – carried all season by underclassmen – locked down its best win total since 2010.
In another strong performance from the team’s young talent, freshman goaltender Kyra Murphy recorded her third shutout of the season in the 1-0 victory over George Mason.
Murphy’s shutout was solidified by a first half goal from sophomore forward Malea Fabean, who is second on the team in goals scored. Fellow sophomore midfielder Linnea Faccenda leads the team in shots, with 37 total, and has tallied nine points, good for second on the team in shots.
And even though the Dukes’ goals and assist leader freshman Katie O’Connor was held scoreless in the victory, her five goals and four assists this season have propelled the team to seven wins, a mark that hasn’t been met in five years.
Head Coach Al Alvine, who took over the team in 2011, looks forward to the future of the program considering the depth of young talent on the team.
“We’ve had a tremendous contribution from all of our freshman this season,” Alvine said. “They’ve strengthened every part of our team. All of these players will continue to grow and develop over the next few years so the future for our program is very exciting.”
“Coming in as a freshman, you don’t expect to be as much of a leader as the older girls, but for this team everyone listens to each other,” O’Connor added.
Freshman keeper Kyra Murphy attributes part of her team’s success to Alvine’s coaching.
“He stays positive and helps us get the wins we need,” Murphy said. “Being a freshman goalie has its ups and downs, but it’s exciting to be playing, especially with the team we have,” Murphy said.
With only four games to go in the regular season, Duquesne is sitting on an overall record of 7-8-0, going 2-4-0 in Atlantic 10 play.
After their win over George Mason, the Dukes faced a road loss on Sunday vs. St. Joseph’s, by a final score of 1-0. Alvine expects his team to end the season on a high note, in hopes of a successful run at the Atlantic 10 Championships in November.
“We are expecting to make a strong push for the playoffs,” Alvine said. “It would be a great accomplishment for a team as young as ours to get into the playoffs, and anything can happen from there.”
Fabean expressed her own appreciation in Alvine’s coaching methods, especially in his positive attitude.
“Even when we are down, he’s getting us motivated and telling us we are still in the game,” Fabean said. “He definitely helps us to see the game better, and he tries to teach us quality, and we translate it on the field.”
This Thursday, the Dukes faceoff against Massachusetts on Rooney Field at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday when they take on Rhode Island at 1 p.m.