DURHAM, N.C. – It’s on to the next one for the No. 1 seed Duke Blue Devils (22-2-0), as they shut down No. 4 Texas (14-4-3) Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium to advance to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the sixth-straight postseason appearance and 10th time in school history.
“It’s been a great weekend,” head coach Robbie Church said. “We scored 10 goals, don’t give up a goal all weekend and we’re just playing very good stuff. We’re playing very confident, we’re playing really good soccer, we’re getting better. I’ve said all year long, even when we’re winning we can still get better, and I think we’re getting better. We’re believing in ourselves and how we want to play. We’re putting our will on a lot of people.”
The win gives Duke 22 victories on the year, tying the school record for single-season wins set in 2011. It also ties for most home wins in a season with 14, also set during the 2011 campaign.
“This team has set a lot of records, no question about that,” Church said. “And they deserve everything they’ve gotten. They’ve worked hard in training and games. We’re very proud of them.”
Duke wasted no time in getting started, as Imani Dorsey took a pass from Taylor Racioppi and slammed home her 13th goal of the season just 2:45 into the contest. Texas would attempt to respond, sending several services into the box and reeling off two shots, but EJ Proctor was there to snuff out every chance, including grabbing her lone save of the match.
The Blue Devils continued to be the aggressors and made it 2-0 in the 31st minute when Kayla McCoy finished with a spectacular diving header off a pinpoint cross from Ella Stevens. With the tally, McCoy matched Dorsey with 13 goals on the year.
Proctor and the Duke defense maintained the clean sheet through the remainder of the half, allowing just three Texas shots in the opening 45 minutes to send home side into the half with a 2-0 advantage.
The Blue Devils generated several more scoring opportunities early in the second period, culminating in Stevens’ second assist of the day on a Racioppi strike to the upper 90 at the 64:25 mark. The assist was good for Stevens’ 11th of the season while Racioppi notched her fifth goal of the year.
Stevens’ pair of assists moves her career NCAA Tournament total to six, which ties Laura Weinberg (2010-13) for second most in the Duke record books. Mollie Pathman (2010-13) holds the program’s top mark with eight. She also jumped up into a tie for sixth with 11 dimes this season.
Dorsey also made moves in the Duke record book with her goal, moving up into a tie for seventh in career goals and into eighth with 77 career points. Both Dorsey and McCoy’s 13 scores this season are tied for ninth with Samantha Baggett’s 1997 season, while Dorsey’s 35 points push her into a tie for fifth with Kelly Walbert (1995).
Anchored by Proctor in the net, Duke denied the Longhorns on a pair of second-half corners and held the visitors scoreless on three more shot attempts. Proctor rounded out the day with one save and guided the defense to its 16th shutout of the year, matching a school record. She also picked up the 33rd solo shutout of her career, taking over second place in school history, while taking sole possession of first with her seventh NCAA Tournament clean sheet.
For the contest, the Blue Devils held a 14-6 advantage in shots, placing seven looks on goal. Corners were even at three apiece.
Duke will face the Baylor Bears, who defeated Notre Dame Sunday night, 3-2, to advance to the quarters. The Blue Devils will host Baylor Friday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. ET at Koskinen.
“Just glad we’re home,” Church said. “That’s the only preference you have at this point. The final eight is always a very tricky game and a hard game because you’re only 90 minutes away from the Final Four. We’re excited to have it at home and be able to be familiar with our surroundings.”
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