Oct. 15, 2016
DURHAM, N.C. – A penalty kick proved to be the difference on Saturday night as No. 5 Virginia (10-3-2, 3-2-2 ACC) fell at No. 4 Duke (11-2-2, 6-0-1 ACC) by a score of 1-0.
The foul and penalty kick came in the 63rd minute of play and was all that separated the fourth and fifth-ranked teams in the country in a back-and-forth battle all night. Duke managed nine shots on the night while Virginia tallied seven shots.
Both keepers came up big on the chances garnered during the run of play, with Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) making three saves on Duke’s four shots on goal. Blue Devil keeper EJ Proctor saved both shots on goal by the Cavaliers.
“This may have been one of the best games we’ve played this year tactically,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “Duke is a very good team and they have a lot of weapons offensively. It was the kind of game we expected and there wasn’t a lot separating the two teams. We really tried hard to limit them in transition. We were a little naÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¯ve sometimes in our play and I think that led to transition from them, which is obviously when Duke is very dangerous.”
Virginia got off the first two shots of the game after sustaining early pressure from the Blue Devils on the defensive end. After turning the tables, Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) fired off the first shot that was blocked in the eighth minute. Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) then got her chance with a shot from 18 yards out that just slipped over the crossbar in the 18th minute.
Stearns came up with the save in the 38th minute, turning back the first chance for the Blue Devils in the half. Chelsea Burns got the header on frame off the Ashton Miller service, but it was denied by the Virginia keeper to keep the match scoreless.
Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) had a chance to break the stalemate in the 42nd minute when she got loose in the box after a failed clearance, but the Duke keeper was able to knock her shot down to keep Virginia out of the scoring column.
The half ended with no score, but the Cavaliers holding a 4-to-2 edge in shots. Both teams had only one shot on goal in the half.
Duke took the lead in the 63rd minute on a penalty kick from Christina Gibbons. The foul was called when the Blue Devils’ Burns was knocked down in the box as she tried to dribble to the center past a Cavalier defender. The kick from Gibbons put the home team on top 1-0.
The goal on the penalty kick proved to be the difference in the match as Duke picked up the win.