DURHAM, N.C. – A Rose Tynan goal in the 53rd minute proved to be the difference Sunday as fourth-ranked Duke defeated 15th-ranked Princeton, 2-1, at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils dispatched their third consecutive ranked opponent to move to 6-1 on the season.
Tynan found the back of the cage for the third time in as many games while defensively the squad held the Tigers (1-4) to just one tally on seven second-half penalty corners.
“The second half, we did let it get away from us a little bit,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “We weren’t as aggressive in closing our space and we were a little late in getting set up and shutting things down, which we will address. That’s something that really does work for us – it worked for us great on Friday and it’s something we want to continue to build on ... In a way it’s good that we took some hits, and we have to use that to help us learn and move forward. But we still were able to fight for the win and stay together to preserve the win.”
The teams combined for 11 shots in the opening 35 minutes but did not break through for a score until the final play of the period. Duke drew a penalty corner just before time expired, and after an initial Alyssa Chillano offering was saved, sophomore midfielder Margaux Paolino redirected the rebound past the Princeton goalkeeper at the post.
Paolino’s first goal of the season sent the Blue Devils into halftime leading, 1-0.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sammi Steele came up with a crucial glove save midway through the second period as Duke’s defensive penalty corner unit kept the Tigers off the board. Tynan then fired a backhand shot to put the Blue Devils up, 2-0, at the 52:37 mark.
“The offense worked really hard together,” Tynan said. It was kind of tough in the first half today because they were getting a lot of touches on it. So in the second half we came out and decided we were going to jump on all the balls, which we did.”
Princeton countered a couple of minutes later, capitalizing on a corner opportunity. Ryan McCarthy registered the goal off the sticks of teammates Julianna Tornetta and Clara Roth, cutting Duke’s lead in half. The Tigers continued to challenge on their attacking end, including on two more corners inside the final two minutes. Steele and the Blue Devils held strong, though, sending the home team to its fifth non-conference victory.
Steele finished with four saves, as did Princeton’s goalkeeper Grace Baylis. Duke totaled 12 shots on the afternoon to nine by the Tigers, while the visitors led in penalty corners, 7-6.
The Blue Devils will be back at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium next weekend, welcoming Old Dominion in non-conference action Sunday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.