CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior Caroline Andretta scored twice and third-ranked Duke rallied from a second-half deficit before falling to No. 20 Wake Forest, 4-3, Friday in the semifinals of the 2018 ACC Championship at North Carolina’s Karen Shelton Stadium.
“[The team’s performance] was up and down,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “It wasn’t as consistent as we had planned it to be and wanted it to be. So that’s pretty disappointing. There were moments where we judged the game and allowed Wake’s energy to kind of creep into our game plan, and then we took care of it, but it was just too much up and down.”
Much like in Thursday’s quarterfinal victory over Syracuse, Duke’s senior leadership was quick to start the scoring Friday. Rose Tynan placed a ball in the circle for Andretta, who knocked it in for the tally two minutes and 37 seconds in. Tynan notched the 101st point of her career after reaching the century mark in Thursday’s win, while Andretta recorded her career-best 13th goal of the season.
The Deacons evened up the score seven minutes later on a tally by Grace Sambrook.
Andretta regained the lead for the Blue Devils towards the end of the half, putting back a rebound at the 31:54 mark. However, Wake Forest was able to counter once again, scoring on a penalty corner just before the end of the half. The play knotted the score at 2-2 heading into the intermission.
The Deacons went ahead coming out of halftime, capitalizing again on a penalty corner opportunity. The Blue Devils earned a corner of their own in the 46th minute and freshman Leah Crouse provided the finishing touch at the back post on a ball by junior Jillian Wolgemuth to tie the contest a third time.
A Wake Forest penalty corner in the 57th minute resulted in a goal that would prove to be the game winner.
Duke generated a couple of late chances inside the scoring circle before pulling redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele in favor of an extra field player. However, the squad was unable to come with up an equalizer in the waning minutes, dropping to 15-5 on the season.
“It was a set piece game today,” Bustin said. “They scored three goals off of their corners, whether it was direct or a rebound. We knew that was their arsenal. Knowing that, instead of stepping up and expecting it and being ready to defend it and not allowing a corner to happen, we were a little bit timid about denying corners. That was, again, disappointing. However, this was a great lesson. You’ve got to come back again, you’ve got to play your best game again and that’s how it is in the postseason.”
For the contest, the Blue Devils held a 15-9 advantage in shots and a 6-5 edge in penalty corners. Steele notched three saves to nine by the Deacons’ Isla Bint.
The NCAA Selection Show is slated for 10 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com. Duke will look to make the program’s 17th appearance in the postseason event and seventh in Bustin’s eight seasons in Durham.