DURHAM, N.C. - It was a defensive clinic Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium, as the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils (14-1-0, 7-0-0 ACC) shut down the Miami Hurricanes (4-9-0. 0-7-0 ACC), 3-0, in the final home match of the 2017 regular season.
The win continues Duke’s tear through the 2017 campaign, as the Blue Devils upped their program record winning streak to 14-straight matches, while improving its best start to ACC play in school history to 7-0-0.
“I thought we struggled a little coming out of the gate but about 15 minutes into it we started playing really well,” head coach Robbie Church. “We got more aggressive in the second half and started to press more. I thought we were sharper as well. You have to give Miami credit though. They never give up and their goalkeeper is very good. My hat is off to them.”
Prior to the game, the Blue Devils honored their eight seniors as one of the most impactful classes in program history wrapped up its final regular season home match in victorious fashion.
“They are unbelievable on and off the field and have represented this university so well over their four years," Church said. "This group has been through the gamut. Missed the NCAA Tournament, made it to the finals and the final eight and who knows what their journey here will be at the end. Just really happy for the group. The most important thing was getting the win for the seniors for all they have done for this program on and off the field.”
Duke held the Hurricanes without a shot and only one corner in one of the best defensive showings in school history. Sunday was the first time the Blue Devils had held an opponent without a shot since shutting down Campbell to the tune of 6-0 on Aug. 29, 2003.
EJ Proctor and Brooke Heinsohn both saw action in goal on the day to earn the team’s 10th shutout of the season and sixth in ACC play. That ties for second in the school record book and puts the Blue Devils one more ACC clean sheet away from tying the school record.
Sunday’s defensive domination was keyed by the play of Duke’s back line, as Morgan Reid, Chelsea Burns, Schuyler DeBree and Taylor Mitchell each played 80-plus minutes. The Blue Devils finished the home portion of the regular season with just two goals allowed at Koskinen, which ties for the fewest in school history.
On the flip side, the Blue Devils were relentless on offense with 28 attempts and 11 shots on goal. A total of 10 different players earned a shot, with Imani Dorsey leading the way with eight to tie her career high.
After a scoreless first half that featured 12 attempts from the home team, including a penalty kick from Burns that forced a diving Miami save, Duke broke through in the 52nd minute thanks to junior Kayla McCoy. The junior put a finishing touch on a cross from Dorsey to secure a 1-0 lead for the Blue Devils. Rebecca Quinn followed six minutes later as she took an attempted Miami clearance and fired a rocket into goal from just outside the 18'.
Duke tacked on a third and final goal in the waning minutes, as Olivia Erlbeck sent a free kick into the box for a leaping Malinda Allen, who would score her second goal of the year.
A total of 23 Blue Devils saw action on the day, including Caitlin Cosme, who made her collegiate debut. Senior Abby Pyne, who has battled numerous knee injuries throughout her career, earned the start for the Senior Day contest.
The Blue Devils will now hit the road to finish out the 2017 regular season, heading to Boston College and Syracuse next week. Duke faces BC Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. ET and Syracuse Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. Both matches will be live streamed on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
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