DURHAM, N.C. – The seventh-ranked Duke field hockey team fired 17 shots, including 11 on goal, but fell to top-ranked Maryland 5-1 in its regular season finale Saturday afternoon at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
After 10 minutes of back and forth play to start the contest, the Terrapins jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring on their first two penalty corner opportunities. The Blue Devils had a couple chances of their own, including a well-placed pass from graduate student Cherry Seaborn inside to senior McKay Ross, but were unable to get past Maryland goalkeeper Natalie Hunter. The visiting squad added a third goal with 3:32 remaining in the period when Anna Dessoye redirected a penalty corner hit to give the Terrapins a 3-0 halftime lead.
“You’ve got to give Maryland credit on the execution [of their penalty corners],” said head coach Pam Bustin. “They were sharp, they were deceptive.”
Duke opened the second half with increased activity on its scoring end and logged shots on five penalty corners before Maryland’s Ali McEvoy took the ball the other way in transition and sent it ahead for teammate Alyssa Parker to make it a 4-0 game.
After a good look by senior Emmie Le Marchand near the front of the Terrapins’ cage, Mieke Hayn increased Maryland’s advantage to five goals with 6:32 left on the clock. Le Marchand was then awarded a penalty stroke in the 65th minute, which she successfully converted for her 11th goal of the season.
The Blue Devils earned three more penalty corners in the final five minutes of regulation, and the Terrapins had one just after the final whistle, but the score remained 5-1 at the end of the contest.
“Their goalkeeper made some great saves … That’s on us to finish it,” Bustin said. “We’ve been working on that all year. We’re creating the opportunities now – we have to have the poise and the composure to put it away. It’s a shame it didn’t happen for us today.”
Despite the score, Maryland held just a one-shot advantage at the end of the match, registering 18 to 17 shots by Duke. Meanwhile the Blue Devils led in penalty corners, 8-7. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing posted four saves in the loss while the Terrapins’ Hunter had seven and Brooke Cabrera entered late in the second half to notch three stops.
Following the game, Duke honored its eight-member senior class which includes Ashley Camano, Grace Christus, Devon Gagliardi, Paula Heimbach, Emmie Le Marchand, Brenna Rescigno, McKay Ross and Cherry Seaborn.
“They are a group that will be so important and so special to this program forever for helping and committing to making the change to put Duke back in the top-10 and back into championship contention,” Bustin said of the senior class. “They’ve made the changes and they’ve stayed with it for the last three years, and as you can see, they’re an important part of our on-field success.”
With an overall record of 13-5 and an ACC ledger of 3-3, the Blue Devils received the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ACC Championship and will face No. 5 seed Virginia (15-4, 3-3 ACC) in the tournament's quarterfinals Thursday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. The 2013 ACC Championship will be hosted by Boston College Nov. 7-10 in Newton, Mass.