CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Facing the top-ranked Tar Heels for the second time this season, fourth-ranked Duke was unable to come up with a different result, falling 5-2 Sunday in non-conference action at Karen Shelton Stadium.
Following a back-and-forth opening 15 minutes, North Carolina (17-0) took the lead on a penalty stroke by Megan Duvernois. The final two minutes of the half featured a flurry of action, as the Tar Heels’ Erin Matson broke through to make it 2-0 before Andretta put a final touch on a ball from junior Margaux Paolino to score.
Andretta’s 10th goal of the season cut it to 2-1 at the intermission.
“We had a great attack,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “We didn’t really create the shooting opportunities in the first 20 but I thought we really dictated the game and I thought we played an outstanding first half. The irony of it is we also shot ourselves in the foot with some plays that gave them scoring opportunities that they capitalized on – a good team does.”
North Carolina found the back of the cage again minutes into the second half, with Catherine Hayden providing the finish. A powerful backhand by Tynan at the 42:39 mark put the deficit back at one, but the Tar Heels countered just over a minute later with a goal on a rebound.
A North Carolina tally on a penalty corner opportunity in the 50th minute extended the home team’s advantage to 5-2. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele and graduate student back Tessa Gote combined for a pair of saves on a defensive sequence later in the half. Steele would round out the contest with six saves, matching her season high.
For the contest, the Tar Heels led 19-5 in shots and 3-1 in penalty corners.
“This was an opportunity to play against the best in the country,” Bustin said. “We fought for a win at times. I think we are capable of doing it. It’s just making sure everybody thinks it at all times and stays in the game at a high pressure like that. It’s great for us. If we’re going to continue to move down the season with this kind of intensity, then we’re going to need to be able to play it for 70 minutes.”
The Blue Devils wrap up regular season play Friday, traveling to Ohio University for a 3 p.m. non-conference matchup in Athens, Ohio.
Duke received the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ACC Championship and following Friday’s contest with the Bobcats, will return to Chapel Hill to face Syracuse in the quarterfinal round Thursday, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m.