Women’s soccer loses final home game
Fall to 2-3 in conference play with four games remaining
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2011 00:10
The final home game of the season ended in a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss for Duquesne (3-10-1, 2-3) to the Charlotte 49ers (4-7-4) Sunday afternoon.
It was the women's seventh shutout loss this season and their third in overtime.
Missed opportunities on the part of the Dukes' offense proved to determine the game's outcome.
The Dukes took 10 shots, five on goal, while the 49ers took 18 shots, 10 on goal. But none of Duquesne's shots on goal were good enough to keep the Dukes in contention.
A corner kick by Kristen Vinicky late in the first half was the best scoring opportunity for the Dukes, but it missed just left of the goal.
The Dukes' defense and goalie Ashley Szalwinski stymied the 49ers' offensive efforts, keeping the game up for grabs into overtime. Szalwinski had eight saves in the game.
Although the defense performed well throughout, a goal on a breakaway by 49ers' Oni Bernard in the last five minutes of overtime was enough for Charlotte to edge out the Dukes.
Head Coach Tim Zundel said the most critical thing for Duquesne to improve on is finishing their games.
"We've faced challenges and adversity all season, but it's brought us together. We've lost seven games by just one goal. We just need to finish games off and come out positive, not negative," Zundel said. "We've just got to fight to the end."
But Vinicky maintains a hopeful, confident outlook for the final four games of the season, which are all on the road.
"The reason our record looks so bad right now is because we played a bunch of SEC and Big Ten teams early this season, and they were good competition. We can still qualify for the postseason," Vinicky said. "All we need to qualify is to win three of the next four games. We'll win those for sure."
A short pregame ceremony was held to honor the Dukes' seniors. Five will graduate this year.
"You obviously can't replace seniors," Zundel said. "But we've got six recruits coming in, and we've got a good junior class."
Vinicky, a senior who played her last game on Rooney Field, agreed with that sentiment.
"Our senior class made up the core of this team," she said. "We work hard for each other, and that's what makes us a strong team."
Duquesne will go on the road for the final four games of the season, all against conference opponents.
The Dukes will visit UMass on Oct. 21, and then play at Rhode Island on Oct. 23. They'll finish with a visit to Temple Oct. 28 and conclude the season at St. Joseph's Oct. 30.