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Dayton Outlasts Duquesne 1-0
Dayton Outlasts Duquesne 1-0
Christopher M Rieman
Published by Chris R
Smile Dayton Outlasts Duquesne 1-0

DAYTON (OH) -- Greg Enstone's second-half header proved to be the only scoring of the match as the Dayton Flyers ended a three-game winless skid by topping the Duquesne Dukes 1-0 on a chilly autumn evening at Baujan Field. On a night honoring eight UD seniors, the Flyers notch their first league victory of the season and improve to 11-1-2 (1-2-2), while Duquesne falls to 7-6-0 (2-2-0).

After a pair of lethargic ties at home to start the conference season, followed by a loss at St. Louis, the Flyers were back on campus hoping to regain the momentum they had two weeks ago when they were last untied and unbeaten team in Division-I. With the potent UD offense struggling to score however (formerly #1 in the nation in goals per game), league foes from top to bottom were starting their 'second season' too -- inside the A10 where every game is a hard-fought battle.

Friday played out in typical form as two conference mates battled for 90 minutes to find a singular weak moment in the opposition that might prove fatal.

The opening minutes of the first half favored Duquesne in the overall run of play as they linked up with consecutive passes within the middle third of the field. The Flyers had trouble countering with the same precision however. After three or four passes of the ball, Dayton would lose their shape and eventually play a poor ball that was picked off. In other cases they were dis-possessed one vs. one.

The Dukes moved the ball around much better, but the Flyers had the more dangerous offensive chances in the first 45 minutes of play. Most of the scoring chances culminated in crosses in the box that UD players were unable to redirect from a quality scoring position. The Dukes tried scoring from long distance with many of those chances not on frame.

Dayton's work rate began to deteriorate as the half wore on, forcing Head Coach Dennis Currier to do something he rarely does -- go searching for answers off the bench. After making several early substitutions to jump-start the run of play, the results were mixed; UD could have easily poked a ball in the net but the quality of soccer was largely sub-standard.

Duquesne did many things well late in the half, but had very little to show for it -- due in part to the Flyer back line that was solid and clean when they needed to be. Sophomore Christopher Lenning took some of the most difficult assignments and swept them up like a seasoned veteran. Between the pipes, Chris Froschauer was on his line for every Duquesne shot attempt -- though most shots were at angles that offered no alternative placement on frame.

Halftime stats favored Duquesne in shots 7-4 while the Flyers dominated corner kicks 5-1.

The early moments of the second half were a much better competitive posture by the Flyers. It didn't take long to realize the work rate was increased and overall run of play moderately improved. Dayton would need to sustain it throughout the remainder of the match. For the most part, they succeeded.

Most improved in the second half was a greater commitment to winning loose balls in the midfield and while UD never completely dominated in this category, they evened things up and gave themselves a chance to move the ball forward with sustained possession.

Over the next 25 minutes the game opened up offensively as both teams found more space to push players forward and find someone running loose toward the goal box. Counter-attacks looked promising, but neither side could make the final pass or take the final touch to open up a seam and force the goalkeepers to make a professional save.

Dayton's persistence earned a handful of corner kicks. As has been the case all season, the Flyers took advantage of their strength to find the back of the net -- this time in the 74th minute on a Greg Enstone header played from an Abe Keller corner kick. The textbook finish near the six-yard line put the Flyers up 1-0 and based on the texture of the game, felt like a game-winner despite almost 20 minutes left to play. Senior Andres Acevedo deserved much of the credit for creating a meaningful presence against the Dukes defense, working the left side with good speed and ball fakes to soften up the field and make space for others.

The Dukes generated a few more scoring chances late in the match, but once again their shots were off frame. Their best chances came on balls that squirted past the last Dayton defender, but low bouncing shots to both the near and far post were covered well by Froschauer. A late sprint to the corner flag by Acevedo won possession and helped milk the remainder of the game clock.

Match stats favored Duquesne in shots 16-13, but the Flyers overwhelmed the corner flag by a 10-2 margin. Shots-on-goal favored UD 5-4, underscoring the difficulty both teams had in keeping chances on frame. Dayton used seven players off the bench -- almost unheard of for a Dennis Currier-led squad.

While the product at times wasn't a thing of beauty and it took Dayton a half of soccer to fully engage, UD finished better than they started and ended up securing their best win of the season. The Dukes, ranked #68 in the unofficial RPI, is the highest-ranked scalp of 2013 and bumped the Flyers about 10 spots in the RPI. While UD still has a monumental task ahead of them to situate themselves inside the NCAA at-large bubble, Friday's result was a step in the right direction.

UD finishes up the home portion of this year's schedule on Sunday afternoon with a 2:30pm kickoff vs. St. Bonaventure.

Hot shooting hides a multitude of sins.
Make everyone else's "one day" your "day one".
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By NovaFlyer on 10-25-2013, 10:58 PM
We played well in the second, still need more scoring to be contenders, I believe. Glad for the win and I think the teams feels the same. Nice to see the women's team attending, looking forward to their game on Sunday too.
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