WSOC blows 2-0 lead, draws game with SJU

Peter Boettger | Staff Photographer | Duquesne goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer made five saves in Sunday’s 2-2 contest at Rooney Field.

Spencer Thomas | Sports Editor

Sept. 22, 2022

The Duquesne women’s soccer team conceded a pair of goals in under 90 seconds, ultimately drawing a 2-2 contest with Saint Joseph’s on Sunday at Rooney Field. Jaimi Araujo scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season, and remains the only Duke with multiple goals this fall.

Despite earning a point in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings, Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine was none too pleased with his team’s performance, and the ramifications it will have when the postseason rolls around. Rather than one point gained for the tie, Alvine said he considers the result to be two points lost.

“I told them it wasn’t good enough. We’re at the part of the season where every point counts,” Alvine said. ‘’Maybe you’re not getting into the tournament because of those two points. It’s unacceptable.”

To add to Alvine’s dismay, his team seemed to be cruising toward victory. Just over 17 minutes in, a hectic play in front of goal drew the Hawks goalkeeper off of her line, but Araujo got a foot on the ball, giving Duquesne the lead.

“I thought we created the better chances; we had the better opportunities,” Alvine said. “We just need more of those times when we’re on top.”

Duquesne doubled their advantage less than four minutes after halftime thanks to an own goal from SJU. Fifty-two seconds later, the Hawks climbed back within one, after a shot off the crossbar was shortly followed by one from Jiselle Daniels that found the back of the net.

Still holding the lead, the Dukes would fall victim to their own mistakes. A turnover in their own end gave the Hawks an odd-man rush, and SJU’s Marian Boyle kept it herself, with a long-and-low shot beating Duquesne goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer to the right side of the net, leveling the contest.

All three of the game’s second-half goals were scored in a span of under three minutes. Alvine said that his team has to “be able to close the game,” especially when up by two goals in the second half.

“The manner in which we conceded them was laughable,” Alvine said.

He would go on to express his displeasure with the sloppy nature in which the lead was surrendered.

“When we just give them goals like that, like ‘Just come on in! Score!’ … It’s embarrassing,” Alvine said.

Alvine felt that part of the problem came from the team’s inability to play to their crafty identity.

“We’re not built to bomb balls forward and have our players compete with their players for balls in the air,” Alvine said. “We’re a team that gets the ball on the ground and plays. When we get into a … contest like that, we’re going to lose, because we can’t compete on that level.”

Alvine felt that it was a winnable game, as the Hawks entered the contest with a 1-5-3 record.

“That’s a team that hasn’t scored a goal in three or four games. We just gifted them two,” Alvine said. “Charity. I know we’re a Catholic school and everything but jeez, come on.”

Though Alvine felt his team took too much time to recover from the scoring onslaught to start the second half, he wasn’t entirely frustrated with some of their offensive looks.

“[They were] a positive, definitely. We had our opportunities. We didn’t take them. I’m happy that we never stopped,” he said, “We kept going after them, we kept trying to get the winner. It was too late at that point. The damage had already been done.”

Duquesne is now .500 on the season, with a 3-3-1 record. The Dukes will look to bounce back on Thursday when they travel to Virginia for an A-10 clash with Richmond.