WSOC falls to nationally ranked Saint Louis

Peter Boettger | Staff Photographer | Duquesne freshman Brianna Moore — pictured on Sept. 18 — played 25 minutes in Sunday’s game.

Sean O’Donnell | Staff Writer

Sept. 29, 2022

A goal from Abbie Miller in the 55th minute was all No. 10 Saint Louis needed to defeat the Duquesne women’s soccer team 1-0 at Rooney Field on Sunday afternoon.

Prior to the game, Duquesne honored and had a moment of silence for Kaitlyn “Moe” Rosensteel, a local high school soccer player who died in June 2019 at the age of 18. Duquesne freshman Cece Scott was awarded the 2022 Kaitlyn “Moe” Rosensteel Scholarship Award earlier this year.

The first half was a back-and-forth defensive battle, as the Dukes limited the Billikens to just two shots on goal. Duquesne did not allow Saint Louis to get a shot off until the 22nd minute, and did not concede a shot on goal until there were fewer than 15 minutes remaining in the half, when Biliken forward Emily Groark had her shot blocked by goalkeeper Maddy Neundorfer.

Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine was pleased to limit the offensive opportunities had by one of the nation’s better teams in the game’s opening half. He said that the defense stayed “compact,” while describing the performance as “super well organized.”

“That was some of the best soccer that we’ve played in the first half,” Alvine said. “More commitment to focusing on the details of the game, and not beating ourselves.”

Following a first half in which both teams’ chances were limited, the Billikens began to dominate, outshooting the Dukes 16-2.

Less than a minute after an offsides call against Duquesne in the 54th minute, Miller took a pass from Emily Gaebe and pocketed her fourth goal of the season.

Saint Louis continued to get scoring opportunities, but Neundorfer contained them, particularly on a shot from Gaebe that took Neundorfer to the bottom left of the goal in the 87th minute.

Alvine described his goalkeeper’s performance as “fantastic,” while also praising her for efforts in a Sept. 22 win over Richmond in which Neundorfer earned her first-career shutout.

“I thought she was going to get one today as well,” Alvine said.

The Dukes were unable to muster any last opportunity, and the Billikens secured a victory, moving their season record to 11-1-0 (4-0-0 in Atlantic 10 Conference action).

“It was mistakes by us that people capitalized [on],” Alvine said of his team’s struggles prior to the last few games. “So, taking that away, you saw the result. We got a shutout on the road on [Sept. 22], and we took the No. 10 team in the country to a 1-0 narrow victory for them.”

Freshmen were at the forefront of Sunday’s loss for Duquesne. Eva LaVecchia played all 90 minutes in just her fifth collegiate game.

“We started four freshmen today and used a significant number off of the bench, so it says a lot about the future,” Alvine said.

Another freshman, Maya Matesa, logged 51 minutes and a shot on goal in the contest, slowly getting acclimated to game action as she recovers from injury.

“Maya is still not where she needs to be, obviously she’s just come back,” Alvine said. “But you can see the power, the physicality and the pace that she brings to the team. Once she gets her fitness up another level, then it’ll be just another kid that we can count on.”

Now sitting at 4-4-1 (2-1-1 in A-10 play) on the season, the Dukes are back in action on Thursday afternoon, when they travel to Amherst, Mass., to take on the UMass Minutemen.