DURHAM, N.C. – It was a night for the record books at Koskinen Stadium, as the No. 1 seeded Duke Blue Devils (22-2-0) used five first-half goals to march into the NCAA round of 16 with a 7-0 blowout of Oklahoma State (16-4-3) Friday evening.
“We had 31 shots last week and had one goal. Had 22 shots tonight and scored seven goals. It’s just the nature of the game,” head coach Robbie Church said. “The kids were really focused and really prepared. And I want to thank the crowd as well. A great crowd and they provided the energy for our girls at the beginning of the game. They were fantastic and provided a lot of energy for us.
“The most important thing is we’re heading to the round of 16. There’s only 16 teams left and we’re one of them. I’m proud of that and looking forward to step back out on Sunday.”
Six different Blue Devils tallied goals, while nine recorded a point in Duke’s largest victory since an 8-0 thumping of Elon on Aug. 19, 2012. The Blue Devils’ seven scores also set a school record for the most in an NCAA Tournament contest, besting its previous record of six in a shutout win against Loyola (Md.) in the first round of the 2012 postseason.
Freshman Karlie Paschall netted a pair of goals and redshirt senior Rebecca Quinn recorded a goal and two assists for a career-high four points in her return from playing with the Canadian National Team as Duke earned a spot in the NCAA round of 16 for the 11th time in program history. With her performance, Paschall became the fifth player in school history to notch her first career goal in the NCAA Tournament and the first since Mia Gyau did so last season in the opening round against Charlotte.
“We as a team have talked about when our starters get tired and the subs come in that we need to make an impact,” Paschall said. “I just took it upon myself to come in and give the starters the rest they deserved. It was just incredible. I struggled at the beginning of the season, but being able to come in and make a play like that in the NCAA Tournament, it’s what I needed and what the team needed. I’m just really happy for everyone.”
“I’m very happy for her,” Church said. “I think you saw last week when she came in against UNCG she played really well. And she’s been training really well, too. You never know with the freshman when it will finally click, but she’s starting to play at a very high level.”
The Blue Devil defense put on yet another clinic, tacking on their 15th shutout of the season to come within one of tying the school record set in 2011. Duke held OSU without a shot for the first 86:07 of the contest, conceding the Cowgirls’ first attempt on a free kick from just outside the 18’ that went wide.
EJ Proctor and Brooke Heinsohn combined for the clean sheet. Proctor collected the win to move to 19-2-0 on the year.
Duke came out of the gates locked in, controlling the possession battle and keeping OSU on its heels with an early corner. The Blue Devils earned their first real chance in the 10th minute, as Kayla McCoy lined up for a penalty kick attempt after an OSU foul. Cowgirl keeper Michela Ongaro was able to make a diving save to keep the game scoreless, but that would only hold for 12 seconds.
Ella Stevens fed a ball across the front of the box that McCoy deflected in the direction of Taylor Racioppi. The junior would put a fantastic one touch on the ball, directing it in goal for her fourth score of the season and giving Duke the 1-0 lead. From there, the flood gates busted open.
A little more than 15 minutes later, McCoy would gain her redemption. Quinn tallied her first point of the match as she rolled one into the box that a sliding McCoy would send to the back of the net for the 12th score of the junior’s season. Quinn tacked on the squad’s third score, as she took an Imani Dorsey pass and banked it in off the left post to tie her career high for goals in a season with three.
Then came the freshman, as on the eighth attempt of her career she was finally able to slam one home, taking a chip into the box from Kat McDonald and sending the ball into the back of the net with one touch. Just a mere 26 seconds later, Duke tallied its fifth and final score of the first half as Stevens crossed one into the box for Dorsey, who reeled in her 12th goal of the season.
Duke rolled out a number of reserves in the second half, highlighted by four players making their NCAA Tournament debuts. Along with the rolling out the subs, they also dished out two more scores, the first coming from Paschall via Quinn in the 66th minute of play to make it 6-0.
The seventh and final score of the night included a pair of firsts, as Anna Munro recorded the first goal of her career off the first assist from freshman Tess Boade. From there, the Blue Devils continued to lock down the Cowgirls and sealed up the 7-0 victory.
A total of 21 Blue Devils saw the field Friday night, as no starters reached the 80-minute mark in playing time.
Duke outshot their opponent for the 18th time this season, moving to 17-1-0 when doing so. Along with capturing the shots battle, 22-3, the Blue Devils also dominated with a season-high 15 shots on goal and earned five corners to OSU’s zero.
The Blue Devils now move on to Sunday’s third round, where they will face No. 4 seed Texas at 1 p.m. ET. The Longhorns survived a scare from Clemson in the day’s first game, advancing with a 6-5 victory in a shootout. The contest will be live streamed on WatchESPN, with Ryan Craig and Jason Garey on the call.
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