Michael O’Grady | Staff Writer
Maya Matesa and Lindsay Krafchick found the back of the net on Sunday afternoon, helping the Duquesne Women’s Soccer team to victory over Saint Francis. It was a feel-good ending to the week for the Dukes as that senior day victory offset the blowout loss the Dukes suffered Thursday night at Pitt.
The Panthers, undefeated and ranked 21st in the nation, dominated the Dukes 6-1 in Oakland, with braces from Amanda West and Deborah Abiodun. Duquesne came within one with a goal from Cami Taylor in the 28th minute, but Pitt controlled the rest of the match and cruised to victory. When all was said and done, Duquesne had been outshot 30-5.
Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine wasn’t pleased with the loss, but he admitted it was somewhat self-inflicted.
“We weren’t happy with the effort,” Alvine said, “but we did get a lot of players involved towards the end of the game, so things were a little bit disorganized on our part.”
That sentiment of self-improvement was shared by defender Karley Steinher.
“We need to focus more on our strengths, especially after games like that where it can be really hard to come back from. We just need to move on and not worry about the other team, and fix what we’re doing first.”
Finding themselves on a three-game slide, Duquesne turned their attention to winless Saint Francis on Sunday afternoon.
“It got us hyped for today that we needed to win, so it was a good way to go into the game,” Steinher said, “especially for a Sunday afternoon game, which are kind of hard to get excited for.”
After Duquesne’s senior day ceremony, both teams labored through nearly-90-degree heat for 90 minutes. The fatigue was evident early on with a smattering of turnovers at midfield. Neither team made a serious bid for the scoreboard until Saint Francis keeper Emma Sawich stopped a laser off the foot of Taylor.
From there, Duquesne controlled the game flow, as in the 26th minute Morgan Kulniszewski made a great cross which was headed in the net by Lindsay Krafchick for her first goal as a Duke.
“It gave the team a lot of energy and momentum, and I was so happy,” Krafchick said, “especially since I’m a defensive player, so just getting it in the back of the net was really exciting.”
Duquesne found a key insurance marker at the brink of halftime. With 15 seconds to go in the first half, Matesa broke free on a run and slammed home her third goal of the season. The Dukes finished the contest having outshot Saint Francis 20-4, and never let up their 2-0 lead in the second half despite a red card being handed to Taylor late in the game.
Alvine was confused and unhappy with that decision.
“That was officiated a bit oddly, I thought. We got a player sent off, and there was no reason why.”
Overall, that was the only blemish on an otherwise great day for the Dukes.
“It’s a good send-off, a good senior day for our kids,” Alvine said. “Obviously we have a hell of a lot of soccer left to play, but we’ll take it.”
Duquesne returns to the field Thursday night at Rooney Field when they host Fairleigh Dickinson.