DURHAM, N.C. – After taking a first half lead against fifth-ranked and sixth-seeded Florida State, the sixth-ranked and third-seeded Duke women’s soccer team failed to advance in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals falling to the Seminoles, 3-2, in penalty kicks at Koskinen Stadium Sunday afternoon.
With Florida State advancing, the Seminoles will move on to face second-seeded Clemson, who moved on after holding a 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks against Miami. Duke (12-4-3) will await the NCAA Tournament selection show Monday, Nov. 7.
“I thought there were some really nice things that we did,” said Duke head coach Robbie Church. “The girls played hard and I thought defensively we have a really nice game plan. They scored a world class goal against us. We haven’t seen a goal like that against us since China. That is the only time I have seen anything like that happen. We had some chances for sure. It is frustrating…we know we are really, really close. We are playing the best teams in the country. You couldn’t ask for a few more chances than we had against Florida State.”
Florida State opened the match with the first shot and then another in the 23rd minute, but the Blue Devil defense clamped down and held the Seminoles without an attempt the rest of the first half.
The Blue Devils then took advantage of a great opportunity.
After Duke freshman Olivia Erlbeck had a quick start on a FSU foul, Erlbeck found a streaking junior Imani Dorsey down the field. The Seminoles were able to stop a potential scoring opportunity by kicking it out of bounds. But sophomore Chelsea Burns and freshman Ella Stevens featured some good passing before Stevens sent a cross to a charging junior Ashton Miller at the 40-yard mark.
Miller, who hails from Okemos, Mich., drive towards the goal and launched a rocket towards the far post from 28 yards and buried her third goal of the season into the bottom left corner to give Duke a 1-0 advantage at the 31:15 mark.
Just after entering the match late in the half, redshirt junior Malinda Allen also had a great look as she got a pass at the top of the box but Seminole goalkeeper Cassie Miller made a diving stop to her right to make the save.
At the half, Duke held a 1-0 advantage and a 4-2 lead in shots.
Florida State wasted no time evening the match in the second half as Duke tried to head a cross out of the box, but it went to Deyna Castellanos of the Seminoles where she one-timed a blast from 25 yards into the top right corner just 2:20 into action.
With the score knotted, 1-1, Duke has an excellent chance at goal as Stevens threaded the needle to a charging Dorsey. A product of Elkridge, Md., Dorsey had a one-on-one chance with Miller but the standout keeper dove and stopped a shot at the 53:30 mark.
With less than 10 minutes left in regulation, Florida State’s Megan Connolly got free on the right corner of the box, but Proctor used her body to make a great save. The Seminoles added back-to-back shots just over a minute later, but Proctor was there to make two more saves.
Payne nearly hit Dorsey on a cross with two minutes remaining, but the feed sailed just over the charging Dorsey.
At the end of regulation, Florida State held a 13-5 shot advantage as Duke was limited to only one attempt in the second half.
Duke was held without a shot in the first overtime, while the Seminoles nearly ended the match with 27 seconds remaining, but Kaycie Tillman’s tap towards the right post went just outside.
The Blue Devils attempted three shots in the second overtime by Burns, freshman Olivia Erlbeck and Miller, but none were on frame.
In penalty kicks, Duke dug itself into a hole by missing its first three attempts by Burns (saved), Gibbons (missed) and Dorsey (saved). After Florida State made its first attempt, Proctor saved a shot by Castellanos to give Duke a chance still. Erlbeck and Allen made their next two attempts, but Connolly finished off the final kick to advance by a 3-2 ledger.
Proctor, who hails from Wilson, N.C., tied a career high with 10 saves on the afternoon. Duke was 12-0-0 heading into the match Sunday when scoring first.
With her assist on the afternoon, Stevens moved into a tie for ninth on Duke’s single season freshman charts with 20 points.
“We need to get better, but at the same time we are motivated and confident going into this tournament (NCAA),” said Miller. “Now we will have that underdog mentality so I think we will be even hungrier going in.”