DURHAM, N.C. - Behind goals from Ella Stevens and Imani Dorsey, as well as a shutout performance from keeper EJ Proctor, the 13th-ranked Duke Blue Devils (5-1-0) took down the visiting Auburn Tigers (2-3-1) Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium to close out the Duke Nike Classic.
“It was an interesting weekend with how we had to play the games with delays and such,” head coach Robbie Church said. “I think we grew from a mental standpoint and a physical one as well with how we had to gut that out, especially on a Sunday afternoon after going so late Friday. I thought it was a really good weekend. First time since 2012 that we won both games in our tournament so it was a really positive weekend.”
Proctor and the rest of the defense limited to just five shots (two on goal) for the entirety of the game to ensure the Blue Devils' third shutout of the 2017 campaign. With the shutout, Proctor’s career goals against average drops down to 0.78, remaining at the top of the Duke record book, while her 22nd shutout puts her eight away from tying for third in school history.
Stevens and Dorsey combined for the two goals from the home team, starting with a dazzling free kick strike from Stevens at the 23:59 mark.
Auburn was able to keep Duke to a one-goal lead until the 56th minute, when Dorsey took a pass from Kayla McCoy and sent it home to make it five-straight matches with a score. That is the longest such stretch since Casey McCluskey tallied a six-match stretch in 2004 from Sept. 11 - Oct.1.
“I’m just trying to play and feed off my teammates,” Dorsey said. “If the game isn’t going my way I work hard defensively and when it is I try to give that energy to my teammates. When I feel like they’re having a good game it helps me play better.”
As a team the Blue Devils outshot the Tigers, 16-5, including a 10-2 advantage in the last 45 minutes. Duke has yet to be topped in the shots category during a game this season.
The five-match winning streak is the longest regular season non-conference winning streak since reeling off six straight from Sept. 2 - Sept. 22 in 2005.
“That’s five wins-in-a-row,” Church said. “Now we have wonderful opportunities coming up starting with going up to West Virginia, who just beat the No. 1 team in the country last night. We’re ready to get up there and take on that challenge.”
Duke will hit the road for its next matchup, heading to Morgantown, W.V., to face the sixth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers Friday, Sept. 8. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
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