DURHAM, N.C. – Notre Dame’s Grace Muller broke an 11-11 tie with 1:29 remaining in the game Sunday to push the No. 9 Fighting Irish past No. 8 Duke inside Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils, who suffered their first loss and are now 4-1 overall and 0-1 in ACC play, had been ahead or tied for the entire game prior to Muller’s deciding tally.
Sophomore Olivia Jenner led Duke’s offensive effort with a career-high four goals and added three assists to finish with a personal-best seven points. Junior midfielder Maddie Crutchfield and freshman midfielder Catherine Cordrey contributed two goals each. Sophomore Jamie Lockwood was solid in goal, picking up a career-high 12 saves.
“The bottom line is we didn’t take good care of the ball,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We only had eight shots to their 19 in the second half. I think we did not stay composed. We turned the ball over way too much and I think, quite frankly, put too much pressure on our defense. They’re a good offensive team and we let them have the ball and way too many chances there toward the end of the second half.”
The Irish (6-1, 1-0 ACC) were led on offense by Molly Cobb’s and Samantha Lynch’s four goals while goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone made six saves.
Duke took a quick 3-0 lead and finished the opening half up 6-3 thanks to Jenner’s hat trick, collected within the first 16 minutes of play. The Blue Devil defense also held Notre Dame without a tally for the final 17:40 of the period.
The Irish cut the lead to 6-5 with two quick goals after intermission, one by Nikki Ortega and Cobb’s second strike of the contest.
The Blue Devils pushed the lead to two goals two more times, leading 7-5 and 9-7, but consecutive Cobb tallies at 12:55 and 11:16 knotted the score at 9-9.
Ellie Majure’s fifth goal of the season put Duke back in front with just over 10 minutes to play, but Lynch evened it with 7:52 to play off an Alex Dalton assist.
Cordrey’s second marker again put the Blue Devils back in front with 5:28 to go in the contest. From there, Lynch’s fourth goal evened it at 2:02 and Muller picked up the final score for the Notre Dame victory. On the final goal, Lockwood made a save on an initial free position shot, but Muller came up with the ground ball and score.
Draw controls were even in the contest at 12 apiece, with Jenner contributing five from the draw circle. The Irish held a slight 25-23 edge in the ground ball battle despite four each from Lockwood and senior defender Maura Schwitter. Notre Dame also led in shots, 32-22, after outshooting Duke by a 19-8 margin in the second half.
Duke returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. with a home contest against Virginia Tech. The action will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.