DURHAM, N.C. - Kayla McCoy and the No. 14 Duke Blue Devils (6-1-1) wasted no time getting things going on Sunday at Koskinen Stadium, scoring just minutes into the contest and shutting out the Old Dominion Monarchs (2-3-2), 1-0, for their fifth-straight victory.
McCoy's tally came at the 2:01 mark, the earliest score for Duke this season. Marykate McGuire megged her defender on a pass to McCoy, who used one touch of her right foot to slide the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. The score gives McCoy two on the year and 28 for her career, which ties Caitlin Connolly (1989-92), Carolyn Riggs (2002-05) and Kaitlyn Kerr (2010-13) for 10th all-time in Duke women's soccer history. It is also the 12th game-winning goal in McCoy's four-year career, putting her alone at fourth in the DWS record book.
The Blue Devils' stretch of wins stands as the longest since last season's program-record 19-game winning streak (Aug. 20 - Nov. 3, 2017) and pushes them to 4-0-0 all-time against the Monarchs. Duke continues its impressive run against foes from Conference USA, improving to 18-1-4 all-time and picking up its fourth-straight win and ninth-straight game without a loss against the league.
“It was kind of a mixed bag today,” head coach Robbie Church said. “We scored a great goal early in the match, but overall was not happy with how we played in the first half. The second half I felt like we were in complete control. Wish we could have had a couple more goals, but Old Dominion plays really hard. They’re a great team, very organized and made it difficult on us.”
After McCoy’s score, ODU’s defense dug in and slowed down the Blue Devils for the remaining 43 minutes of the first half, as they would only get two more attempts with one on target.
It took more than 10 minutes into the start of the second half before the first attempt would be taken. Duke junior Ella Stevens found an opening inside the 18’, forcing a fingertips save from ODU. Nearly 10 minutes after that attempt came another solid opportunity for the Blue Devils, as Kat McDonald sent a ball up to McGuire who was one-on-one with the keeper. However, the Monarchs’ netminder made her third save of the game to keep it a one-score contest.
Duke would have several more opportunities throughout the remainder of the contest, but could not add another to the scoreboard, instead holding on to close out the 1-0 victory.
Brooke Heinsohn tallied two saves and posted her fifth clean sheet of the season as Duke shut out ODU for the first time in series history. Duke only allowed five attempts by the Monarchs for the day, outshooting ODU, 10-5, including a 7-1 margin in the second half. The Blue Devils also did not allow a corner for the visitors while picking up six of their own.
With Sunday's win the non-conference slate for the Blue Devils is officially a wrap. Duke will now get set for ACC play, which begins Sunday, Sept. 16 at Syracuse. Kickoff from the state of New York is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which can be accessed through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
“Going into the Syracuse game, the whole mentality shifts as you go from non-conference to conference play,” McCoy said. “We’re just going to have to be a bit more competitive and when we go up in a game, we have to finish it off. We just have to have a little more fight and passion and we’ll do really well.”
Fans can keep up with all things Duke women’s soccer by following the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. Behind-the-scenes content of women’s soccer and all Duke athletic programs can be found on Snapchat by following “dukeathletics”.