DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke field hockey team rallied to score three second-half goals but ultimately fell short against top-ranked North Carolina, 7-3, Friday evening at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Junior Emmie Le Marchand led the 19th-ranked Blue Devils with a two-goal performance in the loss.
Duke dropped to 3-6 on the season and 0-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while the Tar Heels moved to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. North Carolina held the upper hand in shots, 22-6, and posted a 6-4 advantage in penalty corners during the contest.
While the opening 10 minutes of action featured strong defensive play on both sides, the Tar Heels' Samantha Travers broke through with a goal off a penalty corner at the 12:21 mark. North Carolina then took a 2-0 lead just over a minute later as Charlotte Craddock keyed in an unassisted score for her first of three goals on the evening. The Tar Heels added two more goals before halftime to go up, 4-0, at the break.
In the second half, the Blue Devils came out firing, with senior Abby Hassinger collecting her first goal of the season off a penalty corner; the assist was credited to senior Chelsea Amsley. Duke used the momentum to their advantage and Le Marchand scored her first goal of the game just minutes later, to cut North Carolina's lead to 4-2.
The Tar Heels earned a penalty corner midway through the second period and then tacked on two more goals, but Duke responded late on a sliding effort by Le Marchand to tap in a goal near the back post. The two-goal performance was Le Marchand's first of the 2012 season.
Junior goalkeeper Ashley Camano finished the night with a career-high 11 saves, while Sassi Ammer posted one save for North Carolina.
Duke returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 23, against No. 15 Michigan State at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Live video and stats will be available at www.GoDuke.com.