SAN DIEGO, CALIF.— For the second straight match to open the 2007 season, the 22nd-ranked Duke Women’s Soccer team tied San Diego, 0-0, on Sunday on the final day of the WCC/ACC Challenge in San Diego, Calif. The Blue Devils are now 0-0-2 in 2007, after totaling a 0-0 result against Pepperdine on Friday.
“As a coach, you go into the first weekend really looking to see what you learn about your team,” said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. “What I told the team after the game was I know this team in 2007 is it has a huge heart. I was very proud.”
Duke was on the attack from the beginning taking the first four shots of the game. Blue Devil sophomore KayAnne Gummersall had three early chances going down the right side of the San Diego box but couldn’t get a shot off due to stellar defense from the Toreros.
“For the second straight match, we came in and played really well in the first half,” said Church. “This was by far our best first half [of the two games]. It is tough to turn around and play after having an overtime game on Friday.”
The Blue Devils nearly posted their first goal of the 2007 campaign at the 27:47 mark as sophomore CJ Ludemann sent a perfect free kick in the middle of the San Diego box to Gummersall. A product of Wilmette, Ill., Gummersall flicked the ball over Torero goalkeeper Brittany Cameron’s head into the net, but she was called for offside.
Duke took the first shot of the match at the 10:24 mark as junior Lorraine Quinn sent a rocket that went left past the post. Ludemann added another shot attempt nine minutes later that was saved by Cameron. At the 28:58 mark, San Diego took its first shot of the contest by Jackie Garcia that went high.
As the first half came to a close, the Toreros sent a corner kick into the Blue Devil box where San Diego’s Christine Mock headed the ball just right of the post as time expired. In the first 45 minutes, each team took two shots with the score knotted at 0-0.
The second half started out as a defensive battle with San Diego grabbing the first shot of the stanza in the 64th minute off the leg of Amy Epsten, which went high. The Toreros added another shot by Leigh Ann Robinson five minutes later that was saved by Blue Devil goalkeeper Allison Lipsher.
San Diego had two other excellent chances in the 71st minute as the Toreros removed Lipsher out from in front of net and sent a shot that was blocked by Duke defender Sara Murphy. The Toreros then fired a shot at the net that was flicked over the crossbar by Lipsher.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, Jen Mello of San Diego blasted a shot that Lipsher batted out at the top of the box. San Diego tried to get another shot off but was called offsides.
“We dropped a little bit in the second half as San Diego picked up their play in the second half,” said Church. “They put us on our heels at different points of the second half, but we came back. We fought and battled in overtime with them.”
The match ended regulation with San Diego holding a 7-3 shot lead. The overtime contest for the Blue Devils marked the fourth straight game dating back to last year that Duke has gone into overtime. The zero goals for the Blue Devils in regulation was the sixth consecutive game Duke has not scored a goal.
San Diego drew the first opportunity of the first overtime as Epsten tried to flip the ball over Lipsher but the senior leaped and grabbed it. Duke came back and registered its first shot of the overtime period as freshman Kendall Bradley headed a long shot that Cameron corralled. Ludemann and sophomore Elisabeth Redmond each added shots to close the first overtime but neither were on goal.
Through 100 minutes of play, San Diego held an 8-6 advantage with 10 minutes of sudden victory soccer remaining.
Right out of the gate in the second overtime, San Diego’s Robinson fired a rocket from the right side of the box that went just left past the Duke goal. The Blue Devils and Toreros each had one more corner kick before time expired without scoring.
For the second consecutive match, Duke was outshot as San Diego held a 9-6 advantage. Lipsher, who is from Honolulu, Hawaii, registered her 28th career shutout and needs six more to tie the Duke career mark of 34 held by Melissa Carr. Dating back to last season, Lipsher has not allowed a goal in 481:07 minutes. Lipsher registered three saves in 110 minutes on Sunday, while Cameron also had three saves for the Toreros.
“I thought we played better in this second match and that is what we are looking for is improvement,” said Church. “We defended very well as a team and did a great job of shutting out a San Diego team that scored two goals on Friday night.”
As a team, Duke’s scoreless streak now extends to 635:22 minutes dating back to the 2006 campaign. Notching shots for the Blue Devils in the game were freshman Gretchen Miller, Quinn, Redmond, Bradley and two by Ludemann.
The Blue Devils will next travel down Tobacco Road to play in the Nike Carolina Classic on Sept. 7 against Yale at 5:00 p.m. The Blue Devils will also face Texas A&M on Sept. 7 at 11:00 a.m., in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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