DURHAM, N.C. – Led by two second half goals, the No. 1 seeded and third-ranked Duke women’s soccer team defeated Ohio State, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the fourth time in school history.
The Blue Devils improved to 20-3-1 on the season and will next take on Long Beach State on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7:00 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. Duke’s 20 wins continues its school-record tally and became just the third program in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history to reach the 20-win mark (Florida State and North Carolina).
Duke had plenty of chances to score in the first half but couldn’t get anything past Ohio State goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner. In the seventh minute, sophomore Laura Weinberg blasted an attempt off the crossbar, while the Blue Devils had four shots in the opening 27 minutes.
Ohio State took advantage of its first shot attempt in the 29th minute as Tiffany Cameron sent a great cross to Paige Maxwell, who finished her fifth tally of the year. Ohio State’s 1-0 lead marked only the sixth time this season Duke has trailed in a match.
The Blue Devils continued to put pressure on the Buckeyes but were unlucky as senior Chelsea Canepa hit the crossbar on a left-footed shot from the left side.
At the end of the first half, Duke outshot Ohio State, 8-2.
In the second half, the Blue Devils were able to get on the board at the 53:22 mark, after a foul on the Buckeyes gave Duke a free kick from 22 yards away on the right side. Junior Nicole Lipp fired the ball into the box and it ended up at the feet of freshman Kelly Cobb, who rocketed it through the legs of Baumgardner.
A native of Chugiak, Alaska, Cobb netted her 11th goal of the season, which is a new single-season freshman record. She also extended her freshman school record for points with 30. Her 30 points also ranks as the seventh-most for a Blue Devil in school history.
Duke continued to attack the Buckeye defensive line and almost went ahead in the 64th minute as sophomore Natasha Anasi fired a shot at the Ohio State goal that was saved by a Buckeye defender off the line.
In the 80th minute, another OSU foul gave Duke a free kick from 40 yards away. Lipp, who is out of Lake Forest, Ill., sent a long pass to a leaping sophomore Kaitlyn Kerr. A product of Bensalem, Pa., Kerr timed the header perfect and slipped the ball just inside the far post to put Duke ahead, 2-1.
The tally for Kerr was her fourth of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and fifth overall in NCAA play in just two years. The 5-5 midfielder now owns 10 goals on the year and six game-winning tallies.
Ohio State had a chance very late on a ball that bounced out of Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell’s hands but Anasi cleared the ball away from the goal.
Campbell, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio, played the entire 90 minutes and didn’t have any saves. Baumgardner added eight saves in the net for the Buckeyes.
Duke outshot Ohio State, 12-0, in the second half and 20-2 for the match. Weinberg led the Blue Devils with five shots on the day, while Kerr added four and Cobb chipped in three.
Lipp’s two assists on the afternoon was a career high and gives the 5-9 midfielder a career-high four on the year.
Blue Devil Notes:
• Duke advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for only the fourth time in school history (1992, 2007, 2008).
• The Blue Devils held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
• Duke improved to 5-0 all-time against Ohio State.
• The Blue Devils have scored 10 goals in the three NCAA Tournament matches in 2011, which is the most in school history.
• Duke improved to 8-0 all-time in NCAA matches at home and is now 13-0-1 on the year at home.
• Duke allowed only its sixth goal at home this season.