Since last I posted about Duquesne Soccer, they’ve scored seven goals winning two Atlantic 10 games and they look like they’ve recovered nicely from the loss at LaSalle last Friday. They defeated St Joe’s 3-0 in Philly and stole a crucial OT victory from St Bonaventure in a back and fourth 4-3 thriller.
Kadeem Pantophlet scored the winner for his second goal in as many games.
If the team has gelled, it gelled at the right time. Of the Dukes five remaining opponents, three have been or currently are ranked in the coaches Top 25 this year. George Mason also received votes at one point.
Up next, the Dukes take a Friday night trip to #24 Dayton who lost their first game of the season on the road against St Louis this weekend. The Flyers’ questionable out of conference strength of schedule leads me wonder if their hot start didn’t involve some smoke and mirrors. Their best win came against Incarnate Word whom the Dukes also defeated. Aside from St Louis, they haven’t played anyone this year with a better RPI than Duquesne. Despite only having one loss on the season, the Flyers haven’t won in the Atlantic 10 drawing twice against George Washington and Fordham who sit 7th and 9th in the standing respectively.
St Louis comes to the Bluff on Sunday following a Friday meeting with St. Bonaventure in Olean. The Billikens have played extremely well at home outlasting current #12 Creighton for a 1-0 victory, but their road play has failed to live up to the high standard they set at Hermann Stadium. Both of the Billikens losses have come away and it took two overtimes to beat Evansville in Evansville.
The Dukes have an opportunity to get a signature win next weekend to solidify their standing in the conference. Both programs stand well ahead of Dukes in terms of prestige and recruiting power, but both appear vulnerable. In order to ensure the conference tournament, the Dukes will need to win one possibly two more games. A victory against either the Flyers or Billikens turns the conversation from “will they make the tournament” to “what seed can they get.” At 2-1, the Dukes are in comparably good shape sitting fourth in the conference and five points clear of Fordham. A lead like that can evaporate quickly especially with the Dukes difficult road ahead. Every point the Dukes get is precious.
- The Dukes have out shot their opponents in each of their three A-10 games by a combined 44-29.
- Simon Gomez is rounding himself back into game shape. He played 61 minutes vs. Bona compared to 17 against LaSalle.