Aidan Weiss | Staff Writer
In their second Atlantic-10 Conference showdown of the season, the Duquesne women’s soccer team was able to earn their second draw in as many games as they played Loyola-Chicago to a 0-0 finish on Sunday afternoon at Rooney Field. Duquesne goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer led the way with an eight-save shutout.
The Ramblers got off to an ideal start with two early chances in the third minute of the match, but Neundorfer was able to turn away both attempts.
From that point, the game turned sloppy, with neither team able to gain much of an edge. Neundorfer was again called upon to turn away the Loyola-Chicago attack, making a difficult save in the 15th minute on a screaming shot to the bottom right corner, and again in the 22nd minute.
Although they lacked momentum early, the Dukes finally began an offensive push in the late stages of the first half. Midfielder Mackenzie Muir led the way with two shots, but both were blocked by Rambler goalkeeper Naya Lipkens, and the half ended scoreless.
While it was a sloppy half, the Ramblers appeared to be on the verge of the lead by more than tripling the Dukes in shots, a 7-2 margin. They also played a cleaner half with only two fouls to their name compared to the Dukes’ five.
Duquesne controlled possession and tempo in the opening minutes of the second half. The team got its best chance of the game, but an Anna Bundy shot was saved out of bounds pushed off target for a corner kick.
From there, the game reverted into a back-and-forth affair. Loyola had a good chance with a potential two-on-one, but it was called back for offsides. Duquesne then had their best opportunity of the game, as forward Margey Brown got in with an odd-man-rush of her own, but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
Loyola then had their best chance of the match, as midfielder Olivia Rhodes booted a shot that bounced off of the goalpost, off Duquesne goalkeeper Neundorfer, and off the goalpost again before it was finally cleared off the line by the Duquesne defense.
For the final stretch of the match, the strategies for both teams appeared to shift. Loyola-Chicago grew increasingly aggressive trying to break the deadlock, while Duquesne responded by digging in defensively to maintain the draw while not worrying about taking a lead.
The onslaught began in the 74th minute with a difficult save by Neundorfer going to her right, and it continued throughout the rest of the match as Loyola attempted 10 shots in the final 20 minutes. The most notable among those opportunities came in the 86th minute when Loyola’s Taylor Harrison rang a shot off the crossbar. The game ended in a stalemate with both teams earning a point in the standings.
After the game, Head Coach Al Alvine was pleased with the result for his time in a hard-fought affair.
“It was a typical A-10 game. Both teams fought hard, both teams created chances. Credit to Loyola, they’re an athletic, aggressive team, quality side. At the end of the day, I think a point apiece was a fair result.”
However, as the team prepares for the next match, they will look to break their winless streak, currently at three, and get their first win in their Atlantic 10 schedule.
“It’s going to be a real challenge. Challenge to our quality, challenge to our depth,” said Alvine. “We like our chances against anybody when we can fight and battle like this.”
The Dukes’ next match is Sept. 21 where they will face the Rhode Island Rams on the road. The Rams are winless on the season, with four losses and four ties.