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Women’s Soccer Ready for Rematch with Dayton in A-10 Semis

by | Nov 1, 2022

With their A-10 quarterfinal win over Duquesne, the ‘Cats head to Dayton for a Wednesday rematch.


A road trip and rematch are next for the Davidson women’s soccer team, which will visit Dayton Wednesday night in the Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinals.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Baujan Field, the on-campus home of the second-seeded Flyers.

The No. 4 Wildcats travel with a 13-2-4 record after earning a 2-0 victory over No. 5 Duquesne in the opening round, while Dayton improved to 15-3-1 with a 2-0 win over No. 7 UMass.

“We’re really looking forward to the rematch with Dayton,” said coach Adam Denton. “It was a good matchup here. We ended up losing the game 1-0, but it was a really competitive game. They’ve got a lot of talented players in that attacking third that we’ve got to take care of.”

Davidson and Dayton met on Sept. 15 in the conference opener for both teams, and the match’s lone goal came from Itala Gemelli, last year’s A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, in the 27th minute.

“We can take a lot of positives out of that game and then try to apply it to the semifinal game,” said Denton. “Being away from home, we have to make sure that we start well as we don’t want to be on the back foot in the semifinal early.”

Wednesday’s match is the ninth all-time between the teams, and Davidson is seeking its first-ever win over the Flyers in a series that dates to 1993.

Dayton has won its last three games, including against UMass Friday, thanks to goals from Gemelli and Alicia Donley, who scored in the fifth and 59th minutes, respectively.

Gemelli is the A-10’s top scorer with 12 goals and leads the country with seven game-winning goals.

Flyers Natalie Hegg and Diana Benigno rank among the league leaders with six and five assists, respectively, and Mackenzie Lutz and Alicia Donley are two of the A-10’s top defenders.

The Flyers went 8-2 during the A-10 regular season.

Davidson has been led by its defense, which has a school-record 13 shutouts and ranks first in the A-10 — and second nationally — with a .421 goals-against average. The Wildcats also lead the A-10 and rank third in the country with a .684 shutout percentage.

Goalkeeper Mary Grace Bunch has a single-season school record 12 shutouts, which also leads the nation. She is the A-10 leader with a .437 goals-against average, which is fourth-best in the country, and ranks second in the league (15th nationally) with a .862 saves percentage.

Offensively, 13 Wildcats have scored goals, led by Aleia Gisolfi-McCready, who has four, and Sophia Caruso and Remi White, who have three apiece. Hailey Braemer leads the way with five assists.

With 13 wins, Davidson has double-digit victories for the first time since 2009 (12), and one more win would match the single-season program record of 14, set in 2000 and matched in 2005 and 2007.

Going 5-2-3 in the A-10 regular season, the Wildcats surpassed the previous program mark of four A-10 wins.

Davidson, which joined the A-10 in 2014, is in the A-10 Tournament for the second time.

The Wildcats qualified for the four-team condensed bracket in the spring 2021 season, earned a 1-0 semifinal win over UMass and lost 2-1 to Saint Louis in the final.

Wednesday’s other semifinal features top-seeded Saint Louis (18-1) hosting No. 6 Saint Joseph’s (5-7-7) at 7 p.m. (CST).

The A-10 championship will be Sunday, Nov. 6 at the highest seed. 

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