SAN DIEGO, CALIF.ó After traveling across the United States to open the season, the 22nd-ranked Duke Women’s Soccer team registered a 0-0 draw to Pepperdine (0-0-1) in the WCC/ACC Challenge hosted by the University of San Diego in San Diego, Calif.
“I think it was a typical early season match,” said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. “I was really proud of the girls as I thought the girls came out ready to play. We put pressure on them in the first 10-15 minutes. We had a couple of semi-opportunities there.”
In the first 30 seconds of the match, the Blue Devil (0-0-1) offense got rolling with sophomore CJ Ludemann taking the first shot of the season that went high over the crossbar. Sophomore Sara Murphy added a header off a Ludemann corner kick at the 3:44 mark to give Duke a 2-0 shot advantage.
Pepperdine totaled a scoring opportunity of its own at the 9:32 mark as the Waves had a throw in from the left side that eventually came to the feet of Amanda Rupp. Rupp made a good move and got a shot off past Duke goalkeeper Allison Lipsher, but Blue Devil junior defender Christie McDonald was there to save the ball from going into the net.
“All of a sudden, the rhythm of the game started to change as Pepperdine started to play a little quicker,” said Church. “They gave us a lot of trouble but we hung in there. I am proud because we hung in there and worked hard.”
Neither team had any other excellent scoring chances of the first half as the score remained knotted at 0-0 at the end of the first 45 minutes of action. Each team totaled five shots each in the period. Taking shots in the first stanza for the Blue Devils were Ludemann with two, Murphy, sophomore Elisabeth Redmond and junior Lorraine Quinn.
Pepperdine came out in the second half on the attack with a shot by Nicole Ramonowski in the first three minutes and then the Waves put two shots on the board in a flurry of a minute. The Waves posted two straight corner kicks and then Sage Coralli blasted a shot from in front of the net, but Duke freshman defender Gretchen Miller blocked the attempt. Another corner kick for Pepperdine resulted in a flop shot by Samantha Hire that Lipsher snagged for a save.
The Waves added to more shots in the 66th minute off the feet of Coralli and Sophia Medina, but Lipsher made excellent saves. Pepperdine outshot Duke 5-0 to start the second stanza and the Blue Devils didn’t get their first shot until the 77:58 mark when Redmond drove down the middle and fired a blast that went just right of the post.
“In the last 20-25 minutes of the game, I thought we got to get forward more and started to find our forwards,” said Church. “It didn’t show it with more shots and scoring opportunities because we were just off with that last pass to become really dangerous.”
In the first overtime period, Pepperdine tallied a shot by Rupp in the 95th minute as the Blue Devils were held without an attempt. Then in the second overtime, the Waves added two more shots but the Duke offense was held without a shot for both overtime periods.
For the match, Pepperdine outshout Duke, 15-9. In goal for the Blue Devils, Lipsher totaled nine saves without allowing a goal. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, netted her 27th career shutout and needs only seven shutouts to match the Duke career record. Dating back to last season, Lipsher has not allowed a goal in 371:07 minutes.
The Blue Devils opened the 2007 campaign the same way they ended the 2006 season as Duke has not scored a goal in the last five matches dating back to last year. It totals a span of 525:22 minutes.
“Overall, I am happy with what happened but I am not satisfied,” said Church. “We have a lot of work to do, look at the video and practice tomorrow. Then, we have to play a very nice San Diego team on Sunday.”
Duke will next take on the University of San Diego on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (EST). San Diego was set to open the season on Friday evening against Wake Forest following the Blue Devils contest with Pepperdine.
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