By Craig LiPuma | The Duquesne Duke
As it enters into conference play a week from Thursday, the Duquesne women’s soccer team notched an important 2-0 win over the Bucknell Bison Tuesday night at Rooney Field, ending a three-game skid.
The first half of play began with the Dukes shredding through the Bucknell defense with quick passes that led to multiple scoring opportunities. The first player to capitalize on one of these opportunities was standout freshman Katie O’Connor.
At the 26-minute mark, O’Connor gathered a pass from teammate Linnea Faccenda on the left side of the penalty box, stopped, and spun with the ball back to the middle of the box where she ripped one past the Bison’s goalkeeper for the freshman’s fifth goal of the season.
The second goal of the half came from a beautiful sequence of passes made by teammates Amy Vinopal and O’Connor. Faccenda was the last player to corral the ball and finished the play with a well-placed goal on the far side of the opposing net.
Head coach Al Alvine said he believes confidence is crucial for this team going into a very important part of the schedule.
“They bounced back in a big way tonight,” Alvine said. “The first half was maybe the best we played all season and two of the best goals we got all season were from two really important players. We are thrilled to get this game and coming into conference next week it was important to end our non-conference schedule on a good note, so nothing but positives from here tonight.”
Not only was the team’s offense flowing all night, but the defense stepped up to notch the first shutout since opening week against Saint Francis. The great defensive effort can be attributed to a fantastic game by Duquesne goalkeeper Kyra Murphy and great communication between the backs.
Coach Alvine credited his player’s shutout to their terrific level of defensive play.
“The kids have played a lot of games so far so they developed a good rhythm,” he said. “Casey and [Veronique Dagenias] in the middle have played a lot of games together so they developed a good understanding. It’s a collective effort top to bottom starting with the forwards defenders and midfielders and it felt good to get a shutout.”
With the team connecting well on the field, they are expecting to see similar outcomes in the future. The Red Blue will have a chance to build off Tuesday’s win when they head to Richmond Oct. 1 to take on the Spiders in the first game of conference play.
The Red & Blue currently sit in fourth place within the Atlantic 10 with a record of 5-4. The Fordham Rams (6-3) hold the top spot while The Saint Joseph’s Redhawks (5-3) and Saint Louis Billikens (5-3) follow suit.