DURHAM, N.C. – In a span of 80 seconds, the fourth-ranked Virginia Women’s Soccer Team knocked off Duke, 2-0, to open Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action on Thursday evening at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. In a tightly contested match, the Cavaliers connected on two goals in the 63rd and 65 minutes to improve to 7-1-1 overall, 1-0-0 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils fell to 5-2-2, 0-1-0.
The first half saw both teams play very even with Virginia registering the only true scoring opportunity in the 20th minute as Jen Redmond sent a free kick from 20 yards out that was blocked by the Blue Devil defense. At the end of the first 45 minutes, Virginia held a 5-3 shot advantage.
“You had two very good teams out there, two top notch teams,” said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. “I thought the game was going to be won in the midfield. We talked about defensively and offensively in the midfield getting a little bit closer and relaxing with the ball. It came to fruition a little bit. They served a few dangerous balls from their midfield when our midfielders weren’t tight, but we also played some good balls in from our midfield.”
In the second half, both teams were on the attack much more as the Blue Devils had their first chance at the 59:23 mark as sophomore Elisabeth Redmond drove towards the goal and just got a shot off before being taken down by the Cavalier defense. Sophomore CJ Ludemann then sent a corner kick into the box where junior Kelly Hathorn eventually came away with a shot that missed slightly off to the left of the goal.
Virginia was able to get on the board at the 63:49 mark as Sarah Senty feeded a great long ball to Kelly Quinn on the left side. Blue Devil senior goalkeeper Allison Lipsher came way out of the goal area to try to grab the pass but Quinn was able to chip the ball over Lipsher’s head. The ball rolled approximately 15 yards into the right corner to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.
The Cavaliers didn’t let down as Jen Redmond passed the ball down the right side where Quinn settled it and sent a perfect cross in front of the Blue Devil goal where Julia Falk one-timed her third goal of the season, which happened 80 seconds after the first goal.
Duke did not let down as the Blue Devils nearly got on the board in the 74th minute as junior Christie McDonald sent a corner kick into the box where sophomore Jane Alukonis headed a five-yard shot that hit the crossbar and came back down into the field of play. The Virginia defense was able to kick it out before Duke could get a leg on it.
The Blue Devils had another opportunity in the 88th minute when junior Lorraine Quinn blasted a right-footed shot that barely went over the crossbar.
For the match, Virginia outshot Duke, 11-10, but the Blue Devils posted a 7-6 advantage over the final 45 minutes of play. A total of seven Duke players took shots on the night -- Elisabeth Redmond (3), Ludemann (2), Gretchen Miller, Hathorn, Lorraine Quinn, McDonald and Alukonis.
“We knew that they like to keep their forwards wide and their midfield like to go 1 vs. 1 so we were expecting a lot of crosses from the outside,” said McDonald. “We were prepared to mark up when the crosses came and pinch in when they were covering and not to fight for it on the outside, keep our shape.”
Lipsher, who is a product of Honolulu, Hawaii, finished with two saves on the night for the Blue Devils in 90 minutes of action. Jones posted her sixth straight match without allowing a goal as she totaled four saves against Duke.
Elisabeth Redmond, who is a sophomore at Duke, played against her sister, Jen Redmond of Virginia, on Thursday for the second straight year. The loss for the Blue Devils broke a four-game winning streak.
“I think we were a little nervous but then we realized that we could play with Virginia,” said Church. “We went toe to toe with them, if you take away that two minute span. I was proud of the team that we were able to fight back; we had one shot go off the crossbar, a couple that went just wide, we really pressed and we didn’t give up. We have a young team, a lot of players are playing their first ACC game and to step up and play against one of the top teams in the country, I am encouraged by it.”
Duke will next host Virginia Tech on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2:00 p.m. The Blue Devils will welcome former Duke All-America Kelly Walbert Cagle as she is the head coach of the Hokies.
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