UMass picks up crucial point in 0-0 overtime draw against Duquesne

Minutemen outshot 29-19 by the Dukes

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Nina Walat/Daily Collegian

By Pedro Gray Soares, Collegian Correspondent

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team managed to get a point on the road at Duquesne in a goal-less tie on Saturday. In an extremely physical game, 23 fouls between the two teams, the Minutemen salvaged a draw thanks to some first-class goalkeeping and defending.

A high stakes contest between evenly matched UMass (8-3-4, 2-2-3 Atlantic 10) and Duquesne (7-5-2, 3-2-2 A-10) involved back and forth attacking play by both sides and forced the goalkeepers to play a big role from the beginning.

“It was vitally important that we took a point tonight to control our own destiny, so we go into our last conference game knowing that if we beat VCU we’re in the A-10 tournament,” UMass coach Fran O’Leary said.

Three minutes in, a poor challenge by UMass defender Logan Brown led to a Duquesne free kick. With a cross directed into the Minutemen area, a header by the Dukes hit the right post. After two more point blank attempts, the ball somehow didn’t find the net thanks to an intervention by goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin, who was set for a big night.

Both sides were able to create offense in their respective attacking thirds early on with long balls and forced turnovers. The Minutemen had a clear target of pushing the ball to striker Filippo Begliardi Ghidini, who leads the team in goals with eight. Duquesne, on the other hand, was very successful creating chances from the wings and sending the ball into the box.

Twenty minutes into the first half, Yosuke Hanya started to generate some trouble for the Dukes on the right sideline. The Japanese star got past a Duquesne defender with a hesitation move and perfectly placed a cross to the back post for an Alec Hughes header. Possibly the most dangerous chance for the Minutemen in the early minutes yet it was stopped at the goal line by the Dukes.

In the 33rd minute, two long distance shots by Duquesne almost found UMass’ net, but Dorchin saved both. Dorchin stepped up big for the Minutemen when they needed him most. He finished with five saves in the first half and 11total for the game.

“It was one of the best displays of goalkeeping I’ve seen in all of my years as a college coach,” O’Leary said. “He was superb tonight, along with the back four.”

The Dukes immediately put some pressure on the visitors from the start of the second half.

In the 63rd minute, Maxi Hopfer of Duquesne attempted a shot from just inside the box. The shot was deflected and curled towards the top left corner, but Dorchin came up with a spectacular flying intervention.

Dorchin’s late heroic saves forced the game into overtime for UMass. Four minutes into the first period of overtime, a great cross by Ryan Kim found Hanya in the box for a header but Duquesne’s goalkeeper Domenic Nascimben saved the shot.

The matchup finished with no goals but not for a lack of tries. Both teams combined for 48 shots and 15 corner kicks, a testament to the stoutness of the defense and to the skill of the goalkeepers.

“The most pleasing thing was that it’s another shutout, another clean sheet,” O’Leary said. “We gave up eight goals in our first three conference games, and we’ve only given up two goals in our last four. We have a very good, solid defensive foundation and we created some real chances tonight.”

UMass will travel to Pittsburgh for a non-conference game on Monday against the Panthers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Pedro Gray Soares can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @PedroGraySoares.