PITTSBURGH, PA — Most of Friday night’s Duquesne women’s soccer game involved coach Al Alvine with his hands crossed waiting for his players to ultimately unsuccessfully finish several created opportunities.
Alvine was frustrated with the way his team was playing, the referees for what he felt were several missed foul calls and a 2-1 loss to Longwood which dropped his team to 1-2-1 on the season.
“I was unhappy with the two goals we gave up,” he said. “They were very poor goals to concede. The first goal was a result of our not being able to clear the ball effectively. The second goal we had two kids that were beat by one player and scored. You can’t concede those types of goals and expect to successful.”
What perhaps frustrated Alvine was the way his team lost, nearly an identical way to the tie in Duquesne’s last game, a home draw against Youngstown State.
“We’re going through the same thing,” said Alvine. “The last two games have been like that. We’ve got to figure out a way as coaches to change that and the players have to figure out a way to change it. I told the kids we’ve got to go through some soul searching. Four games into the season, there are still some things we are figuring out. We’ve got too many good players and personalities in that room to get two down.”
In this game, the Dukes outshot the Lancers 22-8 and had a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.
With the consistency Alvine did discuss the parallelism and effectively using practice time.
“Maybe there’s something to that, I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe there’s something we need to do differently as coaches. We’re dominating the game, creating chances, creating opportunities. We can’t go out and score goals for the team, we can’t defend for the team. This is a player’s game and ultimately it’s won and lost by the players. It’s something we’ll all have to overcome together.”
Through three home matches last season, the Dukes were 2-1-0 out scoring their opponents 6-2.
This season despite those offensive statistical advantages, Duquesne is 0-2-1 in the opening trio of matches on Rooney Field and are being out scored 5-2.
In 290 minutes this season, the Dukes have two goals, and one of those was a on a penalty kick.
“I don’t think it’s reflected how well we’ve played overall,” Alvine said. “Obviously the results are what matter. We’ve been on the wrong end of too many score lines in our three home games. Two losses and a tie for this team is not good enough.”
Duquesne has outshot opponents in the three home matches 61-35 and have a 31-5 corner kick advantage but are a minus-3 in the goal department.
It is part of the reason why Alvine is frustrated. Rooney Field was good to the Dukes last season as evidenced by a 7-3-1 mark, its most home victories since 1997.
The previously winless Longwood scored both of its goals in the first half as Amanda Spencer and Emilie Kupsov each were responsible for beating Duquesne keeper Kyra Murphy.
Duquesne thought it had an early first half goal as Linnea Faccenda and Malea Fabean had a give-and-go sequence working deep in the Longwood final third, but a side referee signaled offsides negating the score.
In the second half, the Dukes were the aggressors but for month of the final 45′ could not keep their feet on the ball making several mistakes in the Lancers’ zone.
Fabean did end up scoring at 80′, collecting a pass in the box, spinning, kicking and beating Longwood keeper Maria Kirby for a goal.
Time was not on the Dukes side after that as several chances were not finished in the final 10 minutes.
After the first four matches were all played in Pittsburgh, Duquesne will take to the road next weekend when it faces Xavier Friday and Cincinnati Sunday.
It is clear, at least in Alvine’s mind, what the objective is.
“Two tough road games this weekend and a lot of times when you go on the road it could be a good thing to galvanize the team,” said Alvine. “We’ll keep working and do what we need to do. Hopefully at some point very soon, things will come together at both sides of the ball.”