DURHAM, N.C. – Trailing 1-0 at the half, the No. 14 Duke Blue Devils (5-1-1) earned a trio of goals from sophomores Tess Boade and Karlie Paschall to rally and pick up a 3-1 victory against the Nebraska Huskers (3-3-1) Thursday night at Koskinen Stadium.
The win improves Duke to 2-1-0 against Big Ten foes in 2018 and is the first win at home against the Huskers in program history (1-2-0). Thursday’s victory also marks the 386th in program history overall, moving the Blue Devils 14 away from the 400-win mark.
Despite being held without an attempt in the first 22 minutes, the Huskers were able to strike first. In the 33rd minute, a service into the box was headed in to give Nebraska the 1-0 advantage. Duke had several other chances in the waning moments of the first 45, including a pair of shots from Ella Stevens that were blocked, but could not connect as Nebraska took the 1-0 lead into the half.
After a relatively quiet 10 minutes to open the second half, Duke reeled off a trio of shots, connecting on the final attempt to level the contest. Delaney Graham and Kayla McCoy worked to get the ball up to Boade, who would chip it past the keeper and into the right corner of the goal for her first score of the season, making it a 1-1 ballgame. The assists marked the first point of Graham’s career, while McCoy picked her fourth dime and sixth point of the 2018 campaign.
“It felt good to get that one in the back of the net and I felt like it really broke the ice,” Boade said. “We had been in the box for so long in that half and needed one to get through.”
The Blue Devils' next two goals came via penalty kicks from Paschall, as the Brentwood, Tenn., native buried her attempts at the 62:21 and 82:20 marks. The scores are the first two of the year for Paschall and the first of her career in regular season play. Last year, Paschall tallied the first two scores of her career in the 7-0 NCAA Tournament win against Oklahoma State (Nov. 17, 2017).
With the two scores, Paschall has strung together points in back-to-back matches for the first time in her career, tallying an assist in the 2-1 win against Providence (Sept. 2) before Thursday night’s showing.
Ahead to the tune of 3-1, the Blue Devils fended off a furious Nebraska attack that featured a pair of shots and a corner kick to hold on for their fourth-straight win.
“I thought the first 30 minutes of the second half was fantastic,” head coach Robbie Church said. “The energy and effort was there. We worked really hard and I’m very happy with that. The chances we created and the goal Tess scored, I thought she was phenomenal starting the second half. I’m happy with that, but it can’t be a tale of two halves.
“I think overall it was a little disappointing on how we came out, but I’m extremely happy with how we responded and with our mentality in the first 30 minutes of the second half.”
It was a nearly even match in the shots category, as Duke held a slight advantage, 11-10. Duke earned three corners to NU's one. Thursday's contest presented 24 fouls, with 13 belonging to Duke and 11 to Nebraska.
Duke closes out its non-conference portion of the schedule on Sunday, Sept. 9, as it hosts Old Dominion at Koskinen. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Fans can keep up with all things Duke women’s soccer by following the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. Behind-the-scenes content of women’s soccer and all Duke athletic programs can be found on Snapchat by following “dukeathletics”.