DURHAM, N.C. --- Duke rallied from two multiple-goal deficits and got a game-winner from junior midfielder Jess Adam with three seconds remaining to pull out a 14-13 victory over Maryland on Saturday afternoon in Koskinen Stadium. Junior midfielder Carolyn Davis led the Blue Devils with six goals and one assist on the day as Duke ran its program-best winning streak to 17 games. The match can be seen on-demand on www.ACCSelect.com.
The game started off looking eerily similar to the 19-18 defeat that the Blue Devils suffered last year to the Terps in College Park, Md. Maryland got off to a 6-3 lead just 12:02 into this contest, just as they had taken an 8-5 lead last year in the first half.
After calling its first timeout, Duke rattled off three straight goals to tie the game and then battled with Maryland the rest of the period to go into halftime down by one, 9-8. The Blue Devils trailed 8-7 at half in the 2007 meeting of the rivals.
“We basically called a timeout and made a big defensive adjustment,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel on the first half comeback. “Our game plan was to play them behind the cage and take away their feed options and it wasn’t working so our new plan was to go a little bit more defensive and add another defender in and play our man-to-man defense.”
The second half would prove to be a different story than last year. The Blue Devils and Terrapins traded the first six goals of the second stanza, with Maryland holding a one-goal advantage, 12-11, with 12:57 remaining. The Duke defense really locked down on the Terps’ high-octane attack in the second half, limiting them to just four goals on 10 shots. Junior goalkeeper Kim Imbesi stepped up her game as well, making four second-half saves to finish with five for the match.
The final goal Maryland would get came with 12:23 left in the contest. At that point Duke was down 13-11. With just under two minutes remaining, Duke called a timeout down by one score.
Coming out of the timeout, Adam drove to the goal from the left wing, drawing a second defender over just enough to find Davis at the top of the fan. Davis pushed towards the goal, faked out her defender and tied the game with a high shot into the back of the net with 1:29 left.
Maryland won the ensuing draw but turned the ball over with 25 seconds remaining. Duke cleared the ball and freshman Sarah Bullard was fouled with nine seconds on the clock. Bullard took a free position shot that was blocked but picked up behind the cage by Adam, who came around the net and finished quickly with just three seconds remaining to seal the win for the Blue Devils.
“We had the timeout and came back out and got into our play and worked it a little bit and Bullard got the eight meter shot,” said Adam. “Obviously we’re going to send two people behind when she shoots it. I got the ball with less than 10 seconds left, which is when the coaches tell us to drive the ball to at least try to come up with a foul. At that point it was just adrenaline and you rely on your instincts.”
“We drew out a play in the timeout and it didn’t work even though we ran it well,” said Kimel. “We wanted the ball in Jess Adam’s stick and she was able to create an opportunity for Carolyn. On the game-winner we went straight to goal and got a shot off and then we were in the same position and had the same take for Jess that we called for in the timeout.”
The Devil defense really found their game in the second half, and caused nine turnovers overall. Imbesi caused three turnovers herself and picked up three ground balls. Senior Aiyana Newton, who was charged with marking Tewaaraton Trophy watch list nominee Kelly Kasper, caused two turnovers and scooped up three ground balls. Kasper scored three goals in the first half but was shutout entirely in the second.
Aiding the defensive effort were senior midfielder Allie Johnson and freshman midfielder Emma Hamm, who together held Tewaaraton Trophy watch list nominee Dana Dobbie to two goals and an assist. Hamm also added one goal, two assists, three ground balls, three draw controls and one caused turnover. Johnson finished with two goals to help offensively, as did junior attacker Megan Del Monte.
Davis was undeniably the player of the game on Saturday with her huge offensive performance. Her six goals tied her for third for most goals in a game by a Duke player and her seven points tied for sixth-most in a Blue Devil game.
“Our game plan today was to be patient,” said Davis. “We prided ourselves on waiting for a good shot and I thought we executed consistently. We did a really good job of working them-- we had to wear them down because we knew we had more depth than them. We really worked the ball on reversals and were able to draw fouls and find openings.”
Patient was exactly what Duke was on Saturday, as it only turned the ball over nine times, compared to 16 for the Terrapins. Duke also drew 29 fouls by Maryland, whereas it committed just 15.
Maryland was led by senior attacker Lauren Cohen with four goals and one assist.
The win pushed the Blue Devils to 5-0 for the fourth time in the program’s 13 years and the third time in the last four seasons. Duke is 1-0 to kick off its ACC slate. Maryland fell to 2-1 on the year and 1-1 in the ACC.
Duke improved to 7-9 all-time against Maryland, having now won five of the previous six contests between the two teams. The Terrapins are one of only three teams that hold more than a one-game series advantage over the Blue Devils, with the other two being Princeton (4-7) and Virginia (6-15).
Duke will take its only long distance road trip in the month of March on Saturday the 8th to take on No. 7 Princeton at 3:30 p.m.