SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was all Blue Devils all day at the SU Soccer Stadium, as No. 13 Duke (7-1-1) turned in its best offensive performance of the season and dominated in a 4-0 victory against the Syracuse Orange (3-6-0) to open ACC play on Sunday.
The Blue Devils received goals from Taylor Racioppi, Marykate McGuire, Lily Nabet and Kayla McCoy in the victory and have now won six-straight games and 11-straight ACC regular-season contests dating back to last season. Sunday’s triumph also moves Duke to 4-0-1 all-time against Syracuse and 4-0-2 in its last six ACC openers.
“I think it was our most solid performance of the year from start to finish,” head coach Robbie Church said. “Transition defense was really important for us today. I thought a lot of our offense came from our defense by turning the ball over and having a number of counterattacks. Really proud of this group. We harped a lot on making sure we stayed focused because in the ACC you can’t lose it. When you do, it ends up in the back of your net and the momentum shifts.”
From the opening whistle Duke had the momentum, constantly applying pressure until Racioppi broke through with the game’s first score. Her team-leading fourth goal of the season came in the 34th minute as she knocked home a low cross in the box from McGuire to make it 1-0. McGuire scored one of her own six minutes later, as Delaney Graham found her fellow freshman at the top right of the 18’. McGuire went top shelf with her left foot for her third score this year, securing a 2-0 lead that the Blue Devils would take into the locker room.
Duke utilized a number of corner attempts to tally its final two goals of the day, with Karlie Paschall assisting on both. A hard driven ball from Paschall in the 56th minute deflected off McCoy and found Nabet, who tapped it home for her first-career score. The game’s final goal came in the 72nd minute, as Paschall’s service connected with McCoy at the near post for the senior’s third score this year.
With her score, McCoy now has 29 career goals, which ties Imani Dorsey (2014-17) and Kim DeCesare (2010-13) for sixth all time at Duke. McCoy is also now tied for the team lead with five assists this season.
Brooke Heinsohn and Holly Stam, who made her collegiate debut in the 80th minute, secured the Blue Devils’ sixth clean sheet of the year.
Duke not only dominated on the scoreboard, but on the stat sheet as well, outshooting Syracuse, 24-3 (12-1 SOG) and earning 12 corners to SU’s two. The Blue Devils outshot the Orange 9-1 in the first half and 15-2 in the final 45.
“Overall, really happy with our performance, scoring in both halves and getting the shutout as well,” Church said. “It was a really good and complete performance. Now we have to get our recovery on and get ready to head to Miami.”
The Blue Devils remain on the road to close out ACC play, heading to Miami for a Thursday, Sept. 20 matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
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”.