Sean O’Donnell | Staff Writer
Sept. 8, 2022
The Duquesne women’s soccer team fell short in a 1-0 loss to Buffalo on Sunday afternoon at Rooney Field.
The action came quickly after a foul from Duquesne led to a penalty-kick goal by Buffalo midfielder Katie Krohn in the game’s seventh minute.
After the goal, the Bulls’ offense got good looks and pressured the Dukes’ defense, recording seven first-half shots, four of which were on goal.
Duquesne did not allow any goals the rest of the game. A big key to the strong defensive game was getting back senior defender Kayla Winicki who played all 90 minutes for the first time since Aug. 22, 2021.
Winicki appeared in the first two games of the 2021 season before an ACL injury cut her season short.
“It was great having her back in the lineup.” said Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine after the loss.
A silent Duquesne offense saw the Dukes record just one shot that wasn’t on goal in the first half. Entering the second half, they had to adjust.
A shot on goal from Duquesne forward Emma Bundy in the 53rd minute came off a great find from forward Margey Brown, but was saved by Buffalo goalkeeper Emily Kelly.
Although Duquesne’s adjustments did not lead to any goals it was a promising sign for the Dukes to come out faster in the second half after a slow-paced first half.
“If we played the first 45 minutes the way that we played the second 45 minutes, we give ourselves a chance,” Alvine said. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”
Duquesne’s offense started to turn things up in the second half, but Buffalo’s offense didn’t lose any momentum from its first-half surge.
While Duquesne recorded three second-half shots, Buffalo recorded 11 and held an 8-1 corner-kick advantage over the Duke’s in the game’s final 45 minutes.
In a hectic stretch between the 66th and 70th minutes, the Bulls put up three shots (two on goal) and were awarded four of their eight second-half corner kicks. Somehow, Duquesne managed to clear the ball and avoid any damage.
Alvine praised defender Ashley Rodriguez, who played all 90 minutes and was a lead aggressor for Duquesne’s defense, which got takeaways and applied pressure all day.
“What a competitor she is,” Alvine said of Rodriguez’s defense.
Duquesne also leaned on defender Devin Lillis, who played 72 minutes.
“[She] played right back for us for most of the game, and I think she was good, too,” Alvine said.
While the defense gave Duquesne a shot, so did goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer. She had six saves and faced 18 Buffalo shots.
“Obviously, Maddy in the goal is a difference maker,” Alvine said. “She’s a kid that we’re really counting on this year.”
In the 80th minute, Duquesne midfielder Sarah Wilkinson found an opening and had a shot, but narrowly missed to the right.
“That opportunity Sarah had was a direct result of getting the ball behind their outside backs.” Alvine said, “Unlucky not to score that goal, but that was something we should have been doing the entire game.”
Losing a game against a non-conference opponent allows Alvine’s team to make adjustments.
“This is a time for us to learn,” Alvine said, “We’ve learned a lot over the non-conference schedule about our team and what we have.”
Duquesne is back in action on Thursday afternoon for a road contest against Saint Francis (Pa.).