From Duquesne University and St. Francis University Athletic Department reports
Leading 2-0 at the half, in Friday’s opener at St. Francis in Loretto, PA, Duquesne men’s soccer team appeared to have a commanding lead at the half.
Instead, the Red Flash, led by some former WPIAL standouts, stormed back to score four unanswered goals in the second half to erase the Duquesne lead.
- The Dukes got on the board early when former Shaler and Arsenal standout Ryan Landry took a throw in on the left side – angled past a pair of defenders – and played it across to Zach Hall, who buried a left-footed strike in the upper left corner in the fifth minute.
• In the 33rd minute, Hall beat an SFU defender down the right side and crossed it to Jallah Acqui who headed the ball past Marcus Rojas from the top of the six-yard box.
• A few minutes later, Hall came in on a two-on-one and had a shot from the right side of the box saved by a hard-charging Rojas. The save rebounded directly to Hall who sent a second shot goalward that was cleared off the line by a supporting Red Flash defender.
• The Dukes were awarded a free kick early in the second half when Zion Beaton was taken down at the top of the box. Hall’s kick was saved by Rojas.Saint Francis came out of the half flying and was rewarded with a goal in the 56th minute. Junior defender Nicco Mastrangelo (Venetia, Pa/Peters Township) started the opportunity, winning a header off a Duquesne goal kick. Kiernan ran on to the end of the header and held off his defender. His initial shot hit the post but the rebound came right back to him and he slotted home to get the Red Flash on the board.
- Junior Tulio Canineu (Corbin, Ky/Corbin) evened the score at 2-2 in the 66th minute. Freshman Kevin Smolyn (Holland, Pa./Germantown Academy), making his collegiate debut, got on the ball in the midfield and broke the Duquesne pressure with a pass to Kiernan. The senior turned into space and hit Canineu striding down the left flank. Canineu took his first touch to goal and finished under the goalkeeper for his second career goal.
- Kiernan set up the go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute, using his pace to turn the corner on the Duquesne back line and cross for Mario Mastrangelo (Venetia, Pa/Peters Township). The forward calmly collected the pass and finished to the far post for his 15th career goal.
- The Red Flash put the nail in the coffin in the 86th minute. Sophomore Jacob Gratzer (Olmstead Falls, OH/St. Edward’s) won a challenge in the midfield and sprung Kiernan on the counter. The senior made no mistake, scoring his second of the match.
“This game was clearly a tale of two halves. In the first half, we were able to score early, weather a little storm, and close the half strong. We knew they were going to come out strong in the second half,” Chase Brooks, Duquesne head coach, said. “We just made too many little mistakes that turned into big opportunities and you just can’t do that at this level. I give all the credit to Saint Francis, they deserved the win. We have to get back at it and get ready for Sunday.”
The Dukes return to Pittsburgh to host Bloomsburg in the 2017 home opener on Sunday, August 27 at Noon on Rooney Field.