CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Ė The Duke Women’s Soccer team opened the Carolina Nike Classic on Friday afternoon with a 1-0 victory over Yale (1-1-0) at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. The victory broke a six-game scoreless streak dating back to last season and improved the Blue Devils to 1-0-2 in 2007.
“It is great to get a goal and great to get a win,” said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. “I thought first half we played really well. We came out with one goal and we could have had a ton. In the second half, we didn’t play as well but we created opportunities and shots. We never could find that one goal that would break them. I saw improvement from last weekend and that is what we are looking for.”
Yale came out of the gates on the attack with two shots over the first two minutes that Blue Devil goalkeeper Allison Lipsher saved. In the fourth minute, Duke registered its first shot of the match as sophomore Elisabeth Redmond sent a right-footed shot from 19 yards out that was saved by Susan Starr.
The Blue Devils continued to stay on the attack in the 11th minute as sophomore CJ Ludemann sent a perfect corner kick from the left side to sophomore Sara Murphy, who headed the ball to the right of the post. Junior Kelly Hathorn and junior Lorraine Quinn then fired a shots, but were both saved by Starr.
In the 25th minute the Blue Devils had their best scoring opportunity so far in the match. Junior Christie McDonald sent a direct kick to the top of the Bulldog box. The ball went off both a Yale and Duke players head and settled in front of the net at the feet of sophomore KayAnne Gummersall, but her flop shot went just over the crossbar.
The Blue Devils finally broke their scoreless streak of 675 minutes towards the end of the first half as Rebecca Allen sent a ball down the right side to Quinn. A native of Farmingdale, N.Y., Quinn found a streaking Redmond that blasted a shot that went off the fingertips of Starr and into the back left of the net from 16 yards out at the 40:24 mark.
“It felt really good,” said Redmond about her goal in the first half. “My first reaction wasn’t at all because I scored. It was because we broke the curse [of not scoring goals]. For the first five minutes after we scored, all we did was attack so you can see what kind of confidence the goal gave us. We were a little tentative out in San Diego, but we played really good defense. We were not getting our numbers forward and attacking as well as we can last weekend, but did a much better job of that today.”
Redmond’s goal was the first of the season for the Blue Devils and fourth of the Morristown, N.J., forward’s career. It marked the first goal for Duke in six games dating back to last season. The scoreless streak reached 676:46 minutes since Oct. 27, 2006.
At the end of the first half, Duke held a 6-4 shot advantage over Yale.
“If you look at the progression from last Friday, Sunday and to this week, you will see a lot more quality chances,” said Church of Duke’s scoring opportunities on Friday.
Keeping the momentum going for the Blue Devils, Duke came out in the second half and rocketed a shot off the right foot of Redmond that went just high over the back of the goal in the first 30 seconds of the second stanza.
The Blue Devils added three more shots, while the Bulldogs posted three shots of their own before Duke nearly added to its one goal lead in the 70th minute. Gummersall drove into the right side of the Yale box and sent a pass in front of the goal to Redmond, who found Allen by herself on the left side of the box. Allen, who assisted on the lone goal of the match, managed to get a shot off with her left foot about three yards out that slid just left of the post.
Duke posted late shots by Allen, Redmond (2), Gummersall and Hathorn for the Blue Devils, while Yale tried to get in the net but the stellar Blue Devil defense held tight.
The Blue Devils finished the contest with a season-high 15 shots, while holding Yale to seven attempts. In goal for Duke, Lipsher finished with four saves and posted her third straight shutout to open the season. A product of Honolulu, Hawaii, Lipsher has now collected five consecutive shutouts and 571:07 straight minutes without allowing a goal, which is a new school record.
The shutout for Lipsher now gives her 29 over her career at Duke and now needs six more shutouts to break the Blue Devil single season record and tie the ACC mark.
“We did a lot of good things and attacked,” said Church. “The area we have to improve on is the start of the second half. We get to play Texas A&M next and I love playing teams like that because if we don’t play well during parts of games they will punish us. We have to learn how to play the whole game before we get to the ACC.”
Duke will next face second-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 11:00 a.m. The Aggies are 2-0 on the season and were playing third-ranked North Carolina on Friday evening.
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