Tigers rally past Dukes for third win
The Tigers (3-2-1) defeated the Duquesne Dukes (1-4) 2-1 in Sunday afternoon’s game after tying the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 2-2 in double overtime Friday night at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md.
In the first minute of Sunday’s game, the Dukes Maggie Mayo wasted no time pressuring the Tigers. She received a cross and one timed it past Tiger goalkeeper junior Erin Quinn, putting the Dukes up 1-0.
“I just don’t think we were mentally ready to play the game,” Head Coach Greg Paynter said. “Duquesne’s a good team and if you fall asleep they’re going to sting you.”
For the remaining 44 minutes, the Tigers struggled to gain a goal against the Dukes and ended the half 1-0.
“We played very uninspired for the first 45 minutes,” Paynter said. “It was a pretty boring first half of soccer.”
The remaining 45 minutes were a different story.
In the 80th minute junior forward Rhianna Zalewski made a cross into the 18-yard box where junior forward Sofia Read beat the Dukes goalkeeper, tying up the score at 1-1.
“Rhianna created an opportunity out of nothing,” Paynter said. “Her hustle and composure made the finish for Read an easy one.”
The Tigers continued to pressure the Dukes defense.
In the 85th minute freshman forward Natalia Pinkney took a shot from the 18-yard line after an assist from senior forward Emily Banes, scoring the game-winning goal.
It was also her first collegiate goal for the Tigers.
“Natalia’s been knocking on the door for a few games now,” Paynter said. “Banes drew the defense in and laid a beautiful ball off for Natalia.”
With her incredible consistency in each game, Banes ends the weekend with a total of 14 points so far this season.
Similar to Sunday’s game, the Bonnies captured an early lead against the Tigers, scoring in only the fifth minute.
The shot was scored by Bonnie’s Alex Meador who was quick to grab a rebound off a shot from Jordan Calabria, giving them a 1-0 lead over the Tigers.
The Bonnies were given another scoring opportunity after being rewarded a penalty kick due to a foul in the box.
Fortunately, Quinn was able to save the ball and keep the Tigers from falling far behind early in the half.
“St. Bonaventure came out very sharp and put us under a lot of pressure,” Paynter said.
The Tigers made a quick comeback in the 57th minute after Banes received a cross from Read and one timed it passed Bonnie goalkeeper Christina Sarokon tying up the score.
“For her [Banes] to get another goal today is remarkable,” Paynter said. “She is playing at a pretty high level.”
The Bonnies took back the lead in the 60th minute when Alyssa Lapp beat Quinn on a one-on-one opportunity, giving them a 2-1 advantage.
Fortunately for the Tigers, junior midfielder Katie Ponce ripped a shot in the 66th minute from 18 yards out, bringing the teams to an even score.
Both teams struggled to score through two 10-minute overtimes, ending the game in a tie.
“We had a couple of freshman that really stepped up big today,” Paynter said. “For them to come off the bench and step up was really remarkable.”
The Tigers return to play Friday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. against the Bucknell Bisons.
The game will take place at the Tiger Soccer Complex.