Dukes opened their real season with a 3- 0 clean sheet against Longwood. The Lancers are members of the Big South conference and they’re in their second year of Division I. Despite being out shot 14-8, the Dukes managed to make their chances count scoring three times and going close on a couple more opportunities. Longwood only managed to put four of their fourteen shots on frame. The Dukes saw their aggressive runs stifled by 5 offside calls.
Without striker Simon Gomez in the lineup, the Dukes employed a 4-4-2 with Ryan Merrifield and Karter Sell up top. Alex Healion wasted little time opening the scoring in the second minute. Sell scored 17 minutes later unassisted. Josh Ellis tallied the lone goal of the second half with a hard shot off the cross bar and in. While the strike was excellent, the pass from winger Isaiah Noriega was just as impressive.
The Dukes looked energized and their pressure forced Longwood into a number of mistakes in dangerous situations. On the attack, the Lancers were predictable. They were always pushing forward, generally through the middle. The Dukes seemed perfectly comfortable waiting for their opponent’s hyper direct approach to break down one way or another before countering. When Longwood did get deep enough to take a shot at goal, their chances generally came from a safe distance or angle. Duquesne’s possession game continues to improve, but still isn’t quite ready for prime time. I saw better crossing this evening as well.
Tonight’s game was my first opportunity to check out the new streaming video on goduquesne.com. While the feed is an outstanding idea, it was difficult to tell who was who on the pitch. It allowed you to watch the game, but some key plays were obstructed by the window divides. You couldn’t see anything on the near touch line. It’s great if you have marginal interest in the team and just want to check them out. If you try to pass yourself off as someone who writes about them, you should probably get yourself down to Rooney.