Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke
A third straight win for the Duquesne women’s soccer team was just one of the many highlights Friday afternoon as the Dukes trounced New Jersey Institute of Technology 3-0 at Rooney Field.
The Dukes improved to 4-4-1 one week before heading into conference play, and their on-field play has shown that they are more than ready for the final stretch of the season. The win was overshadowed by an emotional senior day. Head coach Al Alvine let all five of his seniors get the start Friday including goaltender Ashley Szalwinski.
Duquesne outshot NJIT 19-5, evident by the score of the game. Freshman midfielder Maddie Layman scored the team’s first two goals (28:16 and 32:37) in the first half, one off the top right corner and another into the left side of the net. Freshman Haley Yow assisted Layman on the first goal while Emma Coccia and Amy Vinopal helped out on the second.
In the 89th minute of play, sophomore Danya Fenech netted her first goal of the season off a rebound save by the NJIT goaltender.
Alvine thought the way the team handled NJIT was the reason they walked off the field with a victory.
“I thought we battled well,” Alvine said. “It was senior day so it can be an emotional day for a lot of the kids so that’s something you always have to deal with. It was just a solid overall performance.”
Layman, Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Week, said the Duke defense and bench really made an impact.
“I think the bench had a lot of motivation which really helps on the field,” Layman said. “I think we just need to keep winning and creating chances. Our defense is doing really well and they just need to keep it up.”
Before conference play starts, the team sees some things that need to be addressed including ball possession and the need to score more goals. Alvine is looking for the young members to really make an impact over the course of the rest of the season.
“The reality is, we’re starting anywhere from five to six freshman every game,” Alvine said. “They are getting more experience and getting more comfortable. Once we get to the conference games, they are going to see the intensity and physicality of the game bump up a notch than it is right now.
The intensity, though, did not take away from all the emotions flowing through Rooney Field Friday afternoon. Senior day is an exciting yet bittersweet moment the senior girls get to experience once a year.
Senior forward Emily Crook said the team showed how much it meant to her and the other seniors.
“It’s emotional,” Crook said. “It definitely gives us more love for the game. We realize how much we love each other.”
Next week the Dukes look to extend their winning streak, as they take on the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the first week of conference play 7 p.m. at Rooney Field before they hit the road to face St. Louis University on Oct. 5.