Sean McKean | Staff Writer
Women’s Soccer made program history record last week, setting the Duquesne record for the longest unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win over George Washington. The streak came to an end on Sunday when the Dukes fell to La Salle.
Their last loss had come on Sept. 10 at Kent State. After that, the Dukes went seven games without being defeated. They picked up four ties and three wins and out-scored opponents 8-2 in the span.
After making history, Head Coach Al Alvine maintained the importance of a game-by-game approach.
“We treat this game like any other game,” he said. “We have to come out and defend well.”
The Dukes brought major pressure early against the Atlantic-10 Conference’s lowest ranked team on Thursday. Brianna Moore and Maya Matesa attempted shots in the first ten minutes that were blocked and went wide respectively. A few minutes later, Moore followed up with another shot from the midfield. However, it fell just short of the goal, hitting off the crossbar.
Despite increased defensive aggression from the Revolutionaries, Duquesne maintained their composure.
In the 22nd minute, Matesa received a pass with her back to the goal. She broke inward, and from outside the box and fired a left-footed shot to the far side of the goal. It skipped in, giving the Dukes a 1-0 lead.
Matesa said she formed a strategy after noticing a weakness in GWU’s goalkeeper mid-game.
“I knew [GWU’s goalkeeper] wasn’t great with kicking it very far,” she said. “I knew where it was going to go every time, so we took advantage of it.”
Despite GWU’s attempt to find some bearing on offense, the Dukes entered halftime leading 1-0.
When the second half began, the Dukes picked up right where they left off with a high shot from Mackenzie Muir and a shot on target from Jayden Sharpless. The Revolutionaries responded to their pushes, taking the ball down the field with a great setup from Lauren Prentice.
However, once the Dukes regained the ball, Margey Brown took it from opposing ends of the pitch, outrunning the defenders around her, to score a superb goal, putting the Dukes up by two.
“Credit to Margey to recognize the opportunity and getting forward,” Alvine said. “There was a lot that she had to do from the time that she got the ball to the time that she scored but she showed a lot of composure and at the end of the day it was a good finish.
Duquesne kept putting shots up following Brown’s goal, and like in the first half, possession firmly remained in the Dukes’ hands.
With the game coming to a close, the Dukes continued their dominance, and a penalty kick from Maya Matesa closed out the scoring at 3-0.
The record, which had stood since a six-game win streak in 2017, was something that Alvine chalked up to his players.
“Just the hard work of the kids, to be honest with you,” Alvine said.
He also mentioned the jovial atmosphere that comes with winning.
“The kids keep it light. There’s a serious mentality but they like to have fun with it. They have fun every night in training, they have whenever we’re on the road so it’s a lot of fun to be around.”
The core of the success is goalkeeper Maddy Nuendorfer, who held opponents scoreless five times during the streak.
“I think she’s the best in the league,” Alvine said. “When you have someone like that between the pipes it makes everything else a little bit easier.”
The streak came to an end at home on Sunday afternoon, when the Dukes fell 4-1 to the La Salle Explorers. Emma Bundy scored the lone goal for Duquesne in the contest. The regular season wraps up this week with a match at conference-leading Saint Louis on Thursday and a home affair with Richmond on Sunday. A victory in either contest would guarantee Duquesne one of eight spots in the A-10 tournament.
“There’s still a long way to go,” Alvine said. “But we’re very happy with where we’re at right now.”