Second half collapse dooms Dukes
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 23:09
In a game that seemed destined for overtime, two late goals doomed the Duquesne men’s soccer team Tuesday nightas it fell to Cleveland State 2-0 at Rooney Field.
The game-winning goal came in the 79th minute when Cleveland State midfielder Aslinn Rodas threaded a pass through the Duquesne defense to set forward Aaron Adkins free. Adkins pounded the ball past freshman goalkeeper Sam Frymier and into the right side of the net to put Cleveland State (4-3) up 1-0.
Defender Zach Ellis-Hayden added the insurance goal in the 87th minute. Midfielder Tommy Fitzgerald took a set piece from the right-side of the box, placing the free kick right on Ellis-Hayden’s foot, allowing him to bury it into the back of the Duquesne net.
The Duquesne defense pressured the Vikings the entire game, allowing only three shots on goal through the first 75 minutes, but senior defender Adam Clement said the team lost its concentration during the last 15 minutes.
“It seems like that’s been the story this year. That we play well for 70 to 75 minutes and then just ease up a little bit,” Clement said. “I thought that that’s what happened with the first goal and then after that, some guys started to panic because there was only about 10 minutes left.”
The Dukes (3-5) only got off seven second half shots, only one with a good chance at goal.
All-American forward Simon Gomez missed his third consecutive game due to an injured foot. Coach Jake Ouimet said Gomez’s MRI Friday came up negative and he is expected to return within the next few games.
“Simon is a special player and he’s a dangerous player and it’s clear we miss him,” Ouimet said. “But Karter Sell has been playing well and Josh [Patterson] has been playing well. It’s not just Simon out there.”
Ouimet also said sophomore midfielder Austin Lange, who contributed greatly as a freshman last year, has started training and is expected to return in the next two weeks.
Duquesne outshot Cleveland State 16 to 14, and seven to four on shots on goal, but hesitated on a few point-blank chances, which senior forward Josh Patterson said cost the team the game.
“We need to go to the net and we need to take our shots,” Patterson said. “We need to be more aggressive. Tonight we weren’t and it cost us.”
The first half was played aggressively as the teams racked up a combined 10 fouls, including a red card on Duquesne sophomore forward Martin Fiemawhle for running over a Cleveland State midfielder in the 33rd minute.
Cleveland State coach Ali Kazemaini also received a yellow card following a disagreement with the referees.
Duquesne kept Cleveland State goaltender Brad Stuver busy during the first half, but none of its five shots on goal landed in the back of the net.
The Dukes’ best scoring chance came in the 12th minute when the ball bounced off of Cleveland State defender Visnu Maharaj inside of the Vikings’ box and toward sophomore forward Karter Sell. Sell struck the ball toward the lower-right corner of the goal, but Stuver dove and was just able to get his fingertips on the ball to deflect it wide right.
After losing three of its first five matches at Rooney Field, where it went unbeaten last season, Duquesne will look to gain momentum when it goes on a month-long road trip.
“After what happened last year, not winning a game away, we feel like we really need to get a few away from here,” Clement said. “If we can, then confidence builds and you feel like you can play anywhere, which is important when you’re not winning all of your home games.”
The Dukes will start a five game road trip when they travel to California to play University of California-Berkley on Thursday.