Duquesne has the best start in program history

On Saturday afternoon, two undefeated teams faced off and after 90 minutes of play that didn’t change with the 25th-ranked Duquesne and Massachusetts men’s soccer teams facing off in a scoreless stalemate. .

The draw took Duquesne to eight games unbeaten, his best start in program history.

“We are a team that sacrifices for each other and works hard,” Duquesne coach Chase Brooks told PSN after the game. “Over a season you have to have that type of mentality to survive. I’m proud of their ability to grind and fight for anything… It’s a credit to the guys. They work so hard the for each other and are willing to sacrifice so much. It’s a big feather in their cap and hopefully something we can continue to build on. We have bigger goals and higher aspirations. We we are a team that wants to compete and win championships.

Brooks was delighted that Duquesne showed urgency after a separate nine-hour bus ride over two days, which saw the team arrive in Amherst on Friday and practice.

Duquesne had to be prepared for a UMass team that brought size, press and physicality, while understanding how tough it was to leave Rudd Field with points.

All in all, Brooks sees Saturday’s draw as exactly that, with the end result not looking like a win or a loss, as some draws can evoke different emotions.

Duquesne had the season’s best 10 corners in the afternoon, overtaking UMass in that stat, but was limited to two shots on goal, neither of which came in the second half.

That being said, Brooks specifically singled out captain Maxi Hopfer’s efforts in this game saying he was fantastic at creating chances and being a nuisance, which is both positive as his game continues to rise.

Given the high level of football in an Atlantic 10 conference that generates more respect among coaches, it allowed for competitive oversight for those in attendance, but Brooks preached a message he echoed all season , to play in style and principles.

With Saturday’s result, Duquesne captain Domenic Nascimben earned his fifth shutout of the season, making five saves in 90 minutes of play. Nascimben has been named A-10 Defensive Player of the Week for the past two weeks.

Now the next task, after the bus ride home, is a turnover at an Akron team ranked 14th in the latest coaches’ poll.

Akron recently faced a team from Pitt, with ups and downs on both sides culminating in a 3-3 tie.

“Any time you get the chance to test yourself against some of the best in the country, that’s never a bad thing,” Brooks said. “I think the guys will be in and are happy about it. It’s about representing yourself well and playing Duquesne soccer.

Given tired legs from the bus ride, Duquesne will have two days of practice before the Akron game, although Brooks likened that upcoming streak to the start of the season when the Dukes faced three straight road clashes where the mental side will be the greatest. focal point.

There will of course be physical aspects, but the focus here is more on rest and recovery, with video work being much more prevalent.

“You will have times when there are times to train and times when there is no time to train,” Brooks said. “That’s the mode we’re in right now and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re working as hard as we did in pre-season to make sure the guys understand the principles and what adversity is, that way we’re ready for trips like this.


Duquesne starters (6-0-2/1-0-1 A-10) – Domenic Nascimben (GK), Jesper Moksnes, Torge Witteborg, Maxi Hopfer, Jacob Casha, Elmar Jonsson, Harper Cook, Anthony Harding, Nate Dragisich, Ask Ekeland, Cameron Territory

Massachusetts starters (5-0-4/0-0-2 A-10) – Matt Zambetti (GK), Matt Fordham, Nathaniel Cardoza, Evan Fournier, Jack Englebert, Andrew Ortiz, Ryan Levay, Aidan Kelly, Brad Moccio, Alec Hughes, Shizu Yohena

Yellow cards – Andrew Ortiz UMASS 54′, Jayden Da DUQ 81′, Tom Tzabari DUQ 89′

Hits – UMass 19 (5 on frame), Duquesne 7 (2 on frame)

Coins – Duquesne 10 UMass 5

Ryan H. Bowman