DURHAM, N.C. – Goals by four different players highlighted a 5-0 victory for the Blue Devils over 11th-ranked Louisville Friday night in the home opener at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Fourth-ranked Duke collected its fourth shutout of the season to improve to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in ACC action.
A dominant defensive performance limited the Cardinals (4-3, 0-1 ACC) to just two first-half shots and two penalty corners on the evening.
“We just kept to our team commitment to full-field defense,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “Starting with the forward line, through the midfield responsibility and then, of course, what happens in the backfield, is something that we’ve really been harping on, really been practicing. And I thought tonight the defense from the front line was outstanding, allowing our midfielders to read the play a little bit better, come up with some interceptions and then organize and keep the backfield clean.”
Junior forward Rose Tynan propelled the Blue Devils to the early lead, taking a ball from junior midfielder Morgan Bitting and finding the back of the cage just 3:45 into the contest. Just over five minutes passed before junior Caroline Andretta took advantage of a chaotic situation inside Duke’s attacking circle, putting away a shot at the back post following an initial save by Louisville goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran.
The Blue Devils’ defensive penalty corner unit broke up a pair of shot attempts by Louisville’s Taylor Stone in the 21st minute, sending the home team into the intermission up 2-0.
Duke generated a flurry of shots 10 minutes into the second half which resulted in Andretta’s second goal of the evening. Bitting provided the assist as the Blue Devils continued to build pressure from the backfield forward. The squad broke through again at the 47:30 mark when senior Ashley Kristen finished on a cross from classmate Alexa Mackintire, putting the score at 4-0.
“Our main focus this week was going for the 50-50 balls and being super aggressive, making sure we could win as many of those as possible,” Tynan said. “I think that definitely contributed today, and hopefully we can take that into Sunday.”
A final goal came off the stick of Mackintire in the 64th minute, as Duke converted on a penalty corner opportunity. Kristen and sophomore midfielder Margaux Paolino picked up assists on the tally.
The Blue Devils finished with 20 shots to the two by the Cardinals and had five penalty corners on the night. Louisville goalkeeper McFerran totaled six saves in the loss and forward Nicole Woods contributed a defensive save.
Duke returns to action Sunday, hosting No. 15 Princeton at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The 12 p.m. contest will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.