CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The fourth-ranked Blue Devil women's soccer allowed a late goal on Sunday afternoon at third-ranked Virginia and dropped a 1-0 decision in ACC action at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
With the loss, Duke drops to 8-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in ACC play, while Virginia moves to 10-2-1, 3-1-1.
"I think we competed really hard," commented Duke head coach Robbie Church. "I am very proud of the girls. This was a tough environment to play and Virginia is a very good team. I thought we played well at times, but unfortunately when we had the momentum we didn't execute in the final third, we didn't give the right ball and we didn't get in on the end of it. That inability to finish in the final third allowed us to be countered."
Redshirt junior Kim DeCesare got things started off the right way for the Blue Devils as she took away a ball just outside the box and blasted a right-footed shot that hit the post in the first minute of the match. Junior Gilda Doria added another shot before Virginia rang off four straight attempts. Doria responded with two more shots for Duke and then junior Laura Weinberg added an attempt that was blocked.
At the 27:17 mark of the first half, Virginia's Caroline Miller got behind the Blue Devil defense, drove inside the box and blasted a shot at the right corner of the net but Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell made a great diving stop to her left to keep the score even at 0-0.
The next best opportunity for the Blue Devils came with less than three minutes left in the first half as junior Mollie Pathman was able to get some space on the left side of the box and rocketed a left-footed attempt that went off the right post and Cavalier goalkeeper Danielle DeLisle scooped it up.
At the end of the first half, Duke and Virginia were tied with seven shots each. The Blue Devils were held scoreless in the first half for only the fourth time this season.
In the second half, both teams traded shots before Blue Devil freshman Cassie Pecht sent a right-footed attempt in the 72nd minute that went just wide. Virginia responded by hitting the left post in the 80th minute off the leg of Danielle Colaprico.
The Cavaliers thought they went ahead in the 81st minute as off a corner kick, but the Blue Devils saved a shot off the line to keep the score locked at 0-0. With less than three minutes left, Duke defender Libby Jandl intercepted a Virginia pass and took the ball up field. The Cavaliers then got the ball back, Makenzy Doniak split two Duke defenders and had a one-v-one breakaway with Campbell and Doniak hit the right corner to put Virginia ahead, 1-0.
"We had the ball and played a ball that got knocked down in the midfield," said Church. "They played a ball to their forward and she just split two or three of us. We had people in position. She just split them; give her credit as she did a great job of finishing."
DeCesare added one final shot for the Blue Devils, but it went wide.
For the match, Duke outshot Virginia, 19-14, and the Blue Devils have yet to defeat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va., during the regular season since 1996. Duke was led in shots by Doria with five, while Pecht and DeCesare added three each.
Duke was shutout for only the second time this season, including the second in ACC play (Florida State). Campbell, who is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, added five saves in goal for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils will next travel to Virginia Tech on Thursday, Oct. 4 for a 7:00 p.m., contest in Blacksburg, Va.