DURHAM, N.C. - The fourth-ranked Duke women's soccer team battled back from being down by one goal twice in the second half on its way to finishing with a 2-2 draw with 17th-ranked Maryland on Thursday night at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
With the tie, the Blue Devils move to 7-2-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the ACC, while Maryland is now 6-2-2 overall and 2-0-1 in league play.
"I am disappointed to only get a point out of this game," commented Duke head coach Robbie Church. "I thought we did enough to get two points. The girls played as hard as we possibly could play. They were excited and the enthusiasm was fantastic. We just have to be a little bit smarter. As we play hard, we just have to make smart decisions. We had some people standing wide open in front of goal if we just roll the ball to them."
Maryland got on the board early in the first half as Domenica Hodak sent a long through ball down the left side of the field to Hayley Brock. Brock found herself with a one-v-one opportunity with Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell. She fired a shot at the Blue Devil goal; it bounced off the right post and went into the left corner of the net at the 9:54 mark.
The score would remain 1-0 in favor of Maryland, but the Blue Devils held a 6-4 shot advantage. Duke had three great chances in the first half off the legs of Laura Weinberg, Kaitlyn Kerr and Cassie Pecht, but each went just over the crossbar. The Blue Devils were held scoreless in the first half for only the third time this season.
Duke came out in the second half and kept putting pressure on the Terrapins. The Blue Devils were able to even the score at 1-1 at the 53:05 mark as Weinberg took two touches off a pass from Pecht and buried a left-footed shot into the right corner. A product of Boca Raton, Fla., Weinberg netted her team-best ninth goal of the season.
The Blue Devils collected six out of the next seven shots, but Maryland was able to get behind the Duke defense and Becky Kaplan finished off her eighth goal of the season in the 73rd minute to take a 2-1 lead.
Church moved his lineup around late in the match to go with more players up front and it worked as junior Mollie Pathman sent a long kick into the box that deflected off Terrapin goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands and redshirt junior Kim DeCesare was able to finish off her eighth goal of the year with less than four minutes remaining.
Junior defender Natasha Anasi registered a header at the 88:15 mark, but Beanlands made a diving stop and the matched headed to overtime.
Duke posted the only shot of the first overtime period as Weinberg sent a rocket that was saved by Beanlands at the 99:24 mark. DeCesare opened the second overtime with a header that went just outside the post, but Maryland came back with a great chance off the leg of Brock that went wide left.
The Blue Devils collected three corner kicks over the last four minutes but Duke could not get anything past the Terrapin defense. Duke concluded the match with a 22-8 shot advantage, including nine shots on goal. Weinberg led the Blue Devils with six attempts, while DeCesare added five.
"It's not the exact result we wanted," said Weinberg. "We really fought hard and outshot them by a lot. So we definitely would have liked to come out of there with a win."
Campbell, who is out of Cincinnati, Ohio, tallied two saves, while Beanlands finished with seven on the night.
"The kids had a lot of character there is no question about it," commented Church. "They have a lot of character. They work extremely hard and they believe that they were going to get the goal. So I was really proud of that. Right now, we are just a little bit off, but we have to play through it."
Sophomore Kelly Cobb, who is a product of Chugiak, Alaska, made her 2012 debut on the night and tallied two shots in 67 minutes. Cobb missed the first nine games playing at the U-20 World Cup with the United States squad.
"I think we are close, but we are not there yet," commented Weinberg. "We still have a lot of things to work on. We have two days off and start again on Sunday. So we are really going to have to start to fix the things that we need to fix. We need to stop giving up goals, so I think our coaching staff is really going to be proactive about fixing these things."
Duke will be off this weekend before hosting Clemson on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m.