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Women’s Soccer Hosts Duquesne in A-10 Tournament Friday at Home

by | Oct 26, 2022

Women’s Soccer will host the first round A-10 game vs. Duquesne this Friday.


With one goal — reaching the Atlantic 10 Tournament — already accomplished, the Davidson Wildcats now have another in mind.

They want to advance in the league’s eight-team women’s soccer tournament, which begins Friday when the fourth-seeded Wildcats host No. 5 Duquesne at 7 p.m. in Alumni Stadium.

It’s the second time Davidson has reached the A-10 Tournament and the first time it will host a game.

“I’m just proud of how all the players have applied themselves over the course of the year,” said Adam Denton, in his sixth season as head coach. “The A-10 is a very tough conference, and it’s been a lot of close games, but they’ve continued to work through the challenges of travel, mid-terms and high-level competition and all the things that come with decisions coaches have to make. I’m just proud of how they’ve battled and worked together and put the team first to make the tournament and secure a home game.”

Davidson enters 12-2-4 overall and 5-2-3 in the A-10, while Duquesne is 6-6-3 and 4-3-3 in the A-10.

No. 6 Saint Joseph’s at No. 3 VCU, 7 p.m.
No. 7 UMass at No. 2 Dayton, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Loyola Chicago at No. 1 Saint Louis, 1 p.m. CST

Davidson is 5-0-3 in its last eight matches and has won two of its previous three, including a 1-0 shutout at La Salle last Sunday.

The Wildcats have recorded a program-record 12 shutouts this season.

Thirteen players have scored for Davidson, including seven with multiple goals. Aleia Gisolfi-McCready leads the way with four goals and nine points, while Hailey Braemer leads the team with five assists.

Davidson is first in the A-10 in goals-against average (0.444) and shutout percentage (0.667) and ranks third and fourth, respectively, in the nation in those categories.  

Goalkeeper Mary Grace Bunch is tied for first in the country with 11 shutouts, a program record. She’s also first in the A-10 and 10th nationally with a .463 goals-against average and is second in the A-10 with a 0.852 saves percentage.

Goalkeeper Mary Grace Bunch, on reaching the postseason:
“Each season we go in with the goal of making the A-10 tournament. To achieve that goal and be in the position to host a quarterfinal matchup is not an easy task. I am beyond proud of the team and what everyone has done to get us to this point.”

Defender Keeley Copper, on what team has done well this year:
“The team has done really well under high-pressure situations. In moments when we are holding on to a 1-0 win with 20 minutes left in the game, we do a great job of staying composed and finishing out the game with a lead. With the amount of travel we have had this year, we have also done a great job of staying on top of school work and taking care of the bodies after a long trip.”

Midfielder Sophia Caruso, on the help of experience:
“The seniors and juniors have played in the tournament before, so hopefully through our experience and leadership we can help calm the nerves of playing on a bigger stage. There is obviously a huge advantage to having a home game. Last time we played Duquesne away, we were able to get a feel for who they are and what they bring versus just watching film.” 

Forward Hailey Braemer, on not being content with making the tournament:
“I think because we have been here before, we are not just happy to be here, but we are ready to compete. And the experience of this team has been and will continue to be an asset as we move forward.”

Davidson last hosted a conference tournament game in 2011, when it welcomed Furman in the Southern Conference Tournament.

In the pandemic-delayed 2020-21 spring season, the Wildcats qualified for the condensed four-team A-10 bracket, defeated UMass 1-0 and reached the final against Saint Louis.

Against the Billikens, Braemer scored in the 25th minute to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead they held until Saint Louis evened it in the 57th minute and scored again in the 89th to win 2-1.

The Wildcats and Dukes know one another well. The teams played to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 9 in Pittsburgh.

That day, Caruso’s goal in the 29th minute gave the Wildcats the lead before Jaimi Araujo scored in the 47th minute to even the score.

“Both teams had their moments through the course of the game, and a tie was probably a fair result for the day,” said Denton.

Araujo leads the Dukes with five goals and 11 points.

Duquesne finished the regular season with 15 league points, one ahead of Saint Joseph’s and UMass. The Dukes lost 2-1 at George Washington in their last outing.

In the A-10 Tournament, if teams are tied after regulation, two mandatory 10-minute overtime periods will be played. If all is even after the extra 20 minutes, penalty kicks will determine a winner.

The eight-team bracket will be re-seeded following Friday and Saturday’s opening round, with the highest remaining seed playing the lowest remaining seed in the semifinals.

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