Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s soccer team earned their first Atlantic 10 victory this season after beating the Davidson Wildcats 1-0 in double overtime Sunday afternoon at Rooney Field. The Dukes are now 1-0-1 in the A-10 and 4-5-3 overall this season after drawing against the Richmond Spiders on Friday.
Sophomore Emma Coccia scored the lone goal of the match in the 109th minute of play after fellow sophomore Ashley Nater made a nice through-pass for the assist. Coccia controlled the ball at the 25-yard line, dribbled to the five and buried the shot to the right side of the Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke to seal the win.
Despite the 1-0 finish, both teams notched quality chances through the entire match. The Dukes recorded 19 shots on net to Davidson’s 15.
The first solid opportunity for the Red & Blue to take the lead came in the 39th minute when senior defender Kahli Hale took a well-placed shot from 27 yards out, but Locke made a nice hand-save to deflect the ball out of the box.
In the second half, the Dukes faced a lot of open chances in the Davidson zone, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them until Coccia’s goal late in the second overtime.
Assistant coach Brian Shrum was pleased with his team’s play through both halves and overtime.
“We played great and had really good chances,” Shrum said. “They are doing really well right now in both ends, which will go a long way.”
Hale, who had two great chances in the game, believed the pressure in the final minute of play really helped earn the team earn their first conference win.
“I think all 11 players on the field were working so hard to be able to get that goal,” Hale said. “I think when it came down to the last minute, it kind of just got frantic in the back, then Ashley Nater was able to get the ball down and put a great through-ball in then worked hard to get it forward. As soon as that ball went in, it was a relief for everyone. We were obviously happy that we were able to pull off the win.”
Senior netminder Devon Tabata agreed.
“A lot of the time I think we did come out flat, but we played so well in the second half that I think it was some of the best soccer we have played all season,” Tabata said. “We saw a lot of different formations and style of play, so it took a while to figure out their system, but once again, we definitely played well.”
Tabata has been playing lights out so far this season with Sunday marking her sixth shutout of the 2014 campaign. However, she humbles herself and says that it really is her teammates that have allowed her to succeed this season.
“It’s a lot of the people in front of me,” Tabata said. “I’ve played with some of them one, two, or three years, so I definitely have a lot of experience playing with them. We kind of mesh well together and it’s my last go around, so I think we’re all trying to play the hardest we can.”
The Dukes continue conference play this Saturday, Oct. 11 when they head to St. Bonaventure to take on the Bonnies in their first of a three-game road trip that will take them to our nation’s capital to take on George Mason and then to Philadelphia to face St. Joseph’s.