DURHAM, N.C. - Redshirt junior Kim DeCesare tallied two second half goals as the seventh-ranked Duke women's soccer team took down 13th-ranked Boston College on Sunday afternoon, 4-2, at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
Duke registered its second victory over a ranked opponent this week as the Blue Devils improved to 10-3-1 overall and 4-2-1 in ACC play. Boston College dropped to 8-4-2, 2-3-0. The Blue Devils collected their 10 win of the season marking the third straight year Duke has posted 10 or more wins, including the fifth time out of the last six years.
"We said it was our goal this week to come out and get two wins, two big important ACC wins," said Duke head coach Robbie Church. "Both of those teams are in the top 25 in the RPI so they are huge wins to get and to get six points. We haven't had a weekend where we have got six points. I thought our energy was great when we started off and our ball movement was unbelievable. I thought we created some really good chances, but we only had one goal, which we talked about at halftime."
The Blue Devils came out of the gate firing at the Boston College net and just three minutes into the contest junior Kaitlyn Kerr headed in a goal, but it was called back as Duke was offside on the play. After five shots by the Blue Devils, Kerr was not to be denied as Gilda Doria and Cassie Pecht found the surging midfielder in the box where she timed a great slide to meet the cross from Pecht and knocked in her fourth goal of the season at the 21:37 mark.
"We are better when Kaitlyn [Kerr] is in the middle of everything; that is who Kaitlyn Kerr is," said Church. "She always plays hard; she is one of our inspirational leaders on and off the field. We play off of Kaitlyn's energy, so when we see her with that much energy, that much movement on the field we know good things are going to happen for us."
Boston College was held without a shot until the 29th minute and the Blue Devils took an 8-2 advantage in shots into the lockerroom at the end of the first half. With the 1-0 lead at the end of the first half, Duke snapped a two-game streak of being held scoreless in the first stanza.
"We had a great first half and our mindset was to continue that stretch," commented DeCesare. "We did well here and there, but I think we can complete a better 90 minutes. We came out with a win so we are happy about it."
The Eagles came out in the second half and took the first two shots before Stephanie McCaffrey sent a perfect through ball to Kristen Mewis and she tucked it away in the right corner to even the match, 1-1, in the 54th minute.
Duke came back with another goal of its own off the leg of ACC leading scorer Laura Weinberg as she gathered a corner kick from Doria and buried it in the back of the net. Weinberg, who is out of Boca Raton, Fla., registered her 14th goal of the season in 14 matches. She has now scored a goal in eight out of the last 10 matches and owns 32 career tallies. Weinberg closed her week with three goals and the 5-9 forward has posted seven goals the last six matches.
Just over 11 minutes later senior Nicole Lipp fed a streaking Pecht down the right side of the field where Pecht sent a cross into the box to DeCesare who took a touch and pushed through her ninth goal of the year to put Duke ahead 3-1.
Boston College didn't give up and off a corner kick from Mewis, Kate McCarthy fired in a goal to cut the Blue Devil lead to 3-2 with less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation.
Duke was then able to put the match away at the 88:10 mark as DeCesare beat a defender and hit the back of the net for her second goal of the contest and 10th of the season. A product of Massapequa Park, N.Y., DeCesare was playing against her former high school teammate Victoria DiMartino and collected her third multi-goal performance of the season.
"Other players, from an offensive standpoint have jumped in there but we have counted on Kim [DeCesare] and Laura [Weinberg] from day one," commented Church. "They have been consistent all day in their work ethic. Kim has been in a little bit of a slump, but a big old grin came across her face when she got that first one. It was great to see that because she is such a wonderful person and does a fantastic job for us."
In goal for the Blue Devils, senior Tara Campbell tallied one save over 90 minutes of action, while Alexa Gaul added four saves in the net for the Eagles.
Duke finished the match with a 17-8 shot advantage, including eight shots on goal. Weinberg led the Blue Devils with five attempts, while Kerr added four and DeCesare three shots.
Doria, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla., finished the day with two assists, while Pecht added two. A freshman from Mechanicsburg, Pa., Pecht has nine assists on the year to lead the ACC and rank tied for second on the Blue Devil freshman record charts for a season.
"We knew we had to come out strong," said Pecht. "We hadn't really played a full 90 minutes the whole season so that was our main goal to come out and play the full 90 minutes in the first half and the second half."
The Blue Devils will next travel down the road to play at N.C. State on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Raleigh, N.C., before closing the regular season with three straight road contests beginning on Sunday, Oct. 14 against Wake Forest.
Laura Weinberg moved into a tie for sixth on Duke's single season points list with 32 and tied for fifth with 14 goals.
With her nine assists on the season, Cassie Pecht ranks tied for eighth on Duke's single-season charts.
Duke has posted a 19-0-2 record at home dating back to last season. The Blue Devils have outscored opponents 26-7 this year at home.