Matthew Theodros | Staff Writer
Duquesne women’s soccer got back to their winning ways last week, sweeping road contests with Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. Both wins were shutouts, and ensured that Duquesne would return to a .500 record this season.
They got things on track Sept. 21 when they won a defensive contest against Rhode Island behind a late game-winning score by Anna Bundy.
Both sides struggled for most of the game to create many possessions in threatening areas. Even when Duquesne cleared the midfield, they were not able to convert despite many good attempts. Saved goals from Rhode Island’s Faith Hutchins kept the game scoreless going into the half.
With less than six minutes to play, Duquesne was able to string consistent passing plays to get into the penalty box. Jayden Sharpless found Margey Brown near the opponent’s goal line, launching a cross-field pass. Brown averted defenses to find Bundy for the game-winning goal.
The Dukes played the remainder of the game steady and received their first road and conference win of the year.
Rhode Island offensive output was not efficient as they outshot Duquesne 12-2 in the second half, but only put 2 of their 12 on the goal.
Following the clutch performance, Bundy was awarded with the Atlantic-10 Conference Rookie of the Week honors.
The winning continued for the Dukes as they took on St. Bonaventure in unfortunate weather. With it raining uncontrollably, playing on the turf was a difficult but maintainable task for the team.
They put pressure on the Bonnies defense early in the contest with six shots on goal, however were not able to convert on any of them.
Going into the second half the score remained 0-0. As weather conditions began to worsen, the Dukes were able to capitalize on the Bonnies offensive struggle.
Duquesne racked up a season-high nine corner kick opportunities in the match compared to St. Bonaventure’s four. The disparity worked out for the Dukes as they were able to convert on a big-time score.
In the 67th minute off a corner kick set up by the goal line, Duquesne defender Karley Steinher was able to put in the first goal of the game as well as the first of her season.
Shortly after, Brianna Moore fired a dagger over the St. Bonaventure goalie’s head to take the 2-0 lead and end the day of scoring for the Dukes. Her goal was the fourth of the season and leads the squad for the 2023 season.
The Dukes outshot the Bonnies 8-4 in the second half alongside dominant ball control in comparison to the Bonnies.
Defensively, Duquesne shut things down for their third consecutive shutout. It is the longest such streak for the program since August of 2014, when they held their opponents scoreless for four straight games.
It was also a big week for the team as they reached milestones they have obtained in many years. The Dukes second straight win in A-10 action moves them into second place in the standings after the first four games. Their 2-0-2 stretch during conference play is their best start since the 2016 season.
Duquesne looks to continue their early success through conference play when they return home on Thursday against UMass at 7 p.m. on Rooney Field.