Jack Morgan | staff writer
The Duquesne women’s soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw after falling behind early against UMass on Sept. 28.
Things got interesting in the 11th minute, when a shot from UMass hit the hand of Duquesne’s Anna Campanella in the box. This resulted in a penalty kick being awarded to UMass. Bella Recinos took the kick, aiming it toward the bottom left of the goal. However, Maddy Neundorfer rose to the occasion, falling into a split to make the save.
Neundorfer mentioned watching film and studying the PK taken by UMass defender Fiona Kane against Davidson on Sept. 24. Remembering that, she said, “I just trusted my instincts and just went for it.”
UMass didn’t give up and continued to create opportunities. They finally capitalized in the 31st minute. Following a great pass into the box by Juliana Ryan, Recinos beat Neundorfer low to put the Minutewomen in front.
Ashley Lamond had a chance to put her side up by two when she sliced a shot to the bottom left of the goal. But Neundorfer was there to make a fantastic save to steal a goal from Lamond.
Brianna Moore responded just minutes later. Moore received the ball from Cami Taylor to the left of the Dukes logo at midfield, moved in and launched a shot from inside 25 yards out that sailed over Bella Mendoza’s outstretched hands to tie the game in the 43rd minute.
Taylor’s assist on the Moore goal was her second of the season and her third as a Duke.
This was Moore’s fifth goal of the year, and three of those have come in conference play.
“Our bench was electric,” Moore said. “We really wanted to come out and play hard.”
The first of seven yellow cards in the match was shown to Emma Bundy when she came flying toward the midfield line to tackle Ryan.
Duquesne came out with a flurry of chances to take the lead in the 47th minute. Jaydan Sharpless took a shot at the goal from afar, and it was tapped over by Mendoza. She was not done being tested though, as Mackenzie Muir took the ball just seconds after a failed corner kick and ripped toward the box. The ball knocked off the head of UMass defender Hannah Peric and ricocheted off the top crossbar and out.
In the 49th minute, Duquesne’s lead was threatened again when Libby Majka played the ball ahead to Jaimi Araujo who cut in to the left and missed her mark to the left of the goal.
UMass’ Juliana Ryan continued her search to contribute to the score line twice in the 54th minute as she powered a shot to the top left corner. But Neundorfer was there for the stop.
In the 63rd minute, Duquesne almost scored off of a corner kick from Margey Brown. Maya Matesa got a touch on the ball off the corner that hit off the right cross bar.
In the 74th minute, UMass had their golden opportunity when Nia Hislop got the ball in the box after it got tapped around from both teams, but her shot on goal was stopped by Neundorfer.
Juliana Ryan earned a second yellow in the 83rd minute, causing UMass to be down a player for the final seven minutes.
“I think it was really good that we kept our composure and kept the game in our hands and didn’t react,” Moore said.
Duquesne squandered a big chance to break the tie late when a cross from Lamond deflected toward Macy Graves, who proceeded to clang the ball off the right post.
With the draw, Duquesne is off to their best start in the Atlantic-10 Conference in seven years.
“We’re taking practice more seriously,” Moore said, “but also having fun and working on the things we need to work on.”
In 2016, the Dukes went 5-0 to start their conference schedule. This year’s squad is also unbeaten in league play so far with a 2-0-3 record.
Duquesne will try to improve on their conference record when they head to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph’s on Saturday Afternoon.