DKU Men’s Football Team Beats NYU Shanghai; Promising Debut for Women’s Team

DKU’s varsity football teams faced off against NYU Shanghai at Qiantan Sports Park, Shanghai, on Monday.

The Duke Kunshan University men’s football team cruised to a 3-1 victory against New York University Shanghai on Monday, continuing their recent run of form in the run-up to the XJTLU Cup in Suzhou this weekend.

DKU got off to a strong start when winger Ricardo Vargas scored three minutes into the game. The sophomore student later doubled his tally after converting a penalty in the dying minutes of the first half.

The second half saw DKU add a third thanks to a composed finish from center-forward Hengchen Liu before NYU Shanghai grabbed a consolation goal after a late solo run by midfielder Julien Nelson-Rowntree.

After the match, head football coach Peter Zhao said he was satisfied with the team’s performance, as was team captain Ruicheng Xie, who added: “I can see through training and matches that we’re getting better and better. We’re cooperating more, and we’re more confident. I’m looking forward to the tournament this weekend.”

The second friendly of the night saw DKU’s newly formed women’s team make its debut, also taking on NYU Shanghai. Despite a valiant display, the team lost 2-1.

DKU was first to score thanks to an effort from forward Nikka McGahan, but it was unable to hold onto that lead. Ziyan Chen and Alexandra Kogler from NYU Shanghai struck back with a long-range free-kick and then another goal shortly before half time.

Despite having chances in the second half, DKU was unable to find the back of the net again. However, the team showed great potential, with impressive displays of teamwork and resilience, despite assembling as a squad less than four weeks ago.

“Our team showed strong cohesion, and all the players succeeded in following the tactics we’d practiced,” said the team’s coach, James Guo, an applied math major in the Class of 2023. “There were some unavoidable factors, like the short preparation time, but I think we overcame those difficulties. Our team showed extraordinary perseverance and a strong will to win.”