After a brilliant 4-0 start during the initial home stand, the Dukes have struggled for results on the road. The level of competition has gotten better, but I didn’t expect them to go 0-3 so far away from Pittsburgh. So how did the Dukes get to 4-3?
The month long road trip began against current number #19 in the country, Georgetown. While the Dukes didn’t find net and Sam Frymier conceded his first goal of the season, Duquesne hung in there with the Hoyas and played to an encouraging 1-0 score. The shot totals were close and the Dukes mostly contained Georgetown’s two nationally regarded strikers, Brandon Allen, who scored on his only shot and Steve Neumann. Duquesne had opportunities to tie, but I wasn’t the only one to take away positives even in defeat.
Cleveland St was a bit of meltdown and the 3 – 2 scoreline came as a shock to me. The Vikings jumped out to the lead 20 minutes in only to have Duquesne’s Simon Gomez equalize 5 minutes later. After only allowing one goal in the first five games of the season, the Dukes yielded two in the final nine minutes of the first half. Duquesne out shot their opponents for only the second time in six but only managed one second half tally and fell short of the draw.
The Dukes squared off against Penn St in Happy Valley today. The score remained level until the 64th minute when the Nittany Lion’s Mark Wadid ran onto a ball just inside the penalty area and finished on a low shot past Frymier. Kadeem Pantophlet nearly headed the Dukes to a 1-1 tie, but the Penn St keeper pushed it high and wide.
Simon Gomez played the first two games of the road trip but missed today’s contest.
The Dukes results took a turn for the worse, but they kept their composure against a couple of highly regarded programs. Against Cleveland St, they needed a better result and didn’t get it. The losing streak highlights how much further the Dukes need to come, but thankfully, the trip provides an early season test to better prepare them for A-10 play.
Up next comes a quasi road trip to Moon to take on Robert Morris. The Dukes don’t need to win, but it would look good for the Dukes to go up 4-0 on the Colonials so far this year.