WSOC earns point in draw with Davidson

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | Jaimi Araujo — pictured here in 2021 — scored her team-high fifth goal of 2022 in Sunday’s draw.

Spencer Thomas | Sports Editor

Oct. 13, 2022

The Duquesne women’s soccer team used another strong second half to earn a 1-1 draw against Davidson in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at Rooney Field on Sunday afternoon.

Jaimi Araujo’s second-half goal leveled the game and helped the Dukes to earn another point in conference play. Duquesne has now earned at least one point in five of its seven A-10 games.

Duquesne opened the excitement in the 25th minute when Araujo got a shot on goal, but she lost her angle and had the shot turned aside by Davidson goalkeeper Mary Grace Bunch.

The Dukes would come to rue the missed opportunity, as the Wildcats’ Sophia Caruso opened the scoring four minutes later.

Davidson entered the match with a record of 10-2-2, aided by a defense that had posted 10 shutouts on the campaign.

“With our performance in the first half I think we were kind of a little bit lucky to get away with a tie,” Araujo said, “Because they really outplayed us.”

Duquesne was able to penetrate that backline relatively well and held their own offensively in the first half. Exactly one week after outscoring La Salle 3-0 in the second half, the Dukes would once again find their success in the contest’s latter frame.

“I was not happy with the first-half performance,” said Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine. “I thought the energy and intensity was lacking. Complete 180 in the second half.”

Less than two minutes into the second half, Emma Bundy found Araujo with a pass, six yards out and center of the goal. Araujo cashed in on this opportunity, lifting the shot up with such velocity that it bounced off the crossbar, the turf and then the crossbar again before finally going in.

“I picked my head up and saw where the goalie was,” Araujo said. “It came off a little high off my foot, but a goal is a goal.”

The goal was Araujo’s team-leading fifth of the season, and Bundy’s first goal contribution on the season.

Araujo would have another opportunity soon after the goal, when she hit the near post on a free kick in the 49th minute.

From then on through the end of the contest, the game was relatively balanced.

Davidson had a stream of pressure midway through the half, but Duquesne was able to repel the chances, thanks to goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer, who had a pair of saves on the day.

“She manages the game well. She makes those crucial stops when she needs to,” Alvine said. “She has been a real high point in the season so far.

The Dukes outshot the Wildcats 5-2 in the second half and spent much more time threatening offensively.

“I’m happy with the resilience,” Alvine said. “We’ve got to put together a good 90-minute performance. That’s the key for us.

“When we play the way that we’re capable of playing, we can beat anybody in the league. We just have to bring it from the start.”

Araujo echoed her coach’s message.

“We need to be able to do that in both halves, and I think we’ll have a little bit more success and start turning those ties into wins,” Araujo said.

At 3-2-2 in conference play, Duquesne and Davidson are currently tied for the fourth seed in a conference that invites its top-eight finishers to the conference tournament.

The Dukes will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, when they travel west to take on Loyola of Chicago.

Following the road contest in Chicago, the Dukes will have a home game against St. Bonaventure (Oct. 20) and will conclude the regular season at George Washington (Oct. 23).