WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- After dominating the run of play for most of the ACC Tournament quarterfinal match, the ninth-ranked and sixth-seeded Duke women's soccer team allowed a goal 52 seconds into overtime and fell, 1-0, at sixth-ranked and third-seeded Wake Forest on Sunday afternoon at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.
With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to 12-5-2 on the season and will next await the NCAA Tournament selection show on Monday, Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m. Wake Forest advances to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament to face Maryland on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Duke was knocked out of the ACC Tournament for the second straight year by Wake Forest.
"It is a cruel game," said Duke head coach Robbie Church. "We deserved better than that, but that is what happens in this game. I just feel so sick for our kids. They have worked so hard all week preparing for this game. We played really well at times. There were some questionable decisions at times that we made with the ball, but overall I thought we played great, hard and controlled most of the play. But you have to score goals in this game and we let goals and opportunities get by."
Duke came out on the attack in the opening half and attempted the first shot in the 12th minute off the right leg of junior Laura Weinberg, but it was saved by Demon Deacon goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe. The Blue Devils continued to put pressure on Wake Forest but couldn't get anything past the defense. At the end of the first half, Duke held an 8-1 shot advantage.
Weinberg attempted four of the Blue Devils' eight shots, while freshman Cassie Pecht attempted two shots on goals. The Demon Deacons did not attempt a shot until the 40th minute.
Duke continued to attack the Demon Deacon defense in the second half.
With 29 minutes left in the match, Weinberg served in a right-footed cross into the box where Bledsoe had the ball go through her hands. Blue Devils Kelly Cobb and Mollie Pathman went after the ball but the Wake Forest defense was there to stop the shot from Pathman.
In one of Duke's best scoring chances late in the second half, Pathman served a left-footed cross into the box where a diving Kim DeCesare just missed a header to the left of the post. DeCesare, who is out of Massapequa Park, N.Y., left the game earlier in the second half with an ankle injury but returned to ignite the Blue Devils.
After going 89 minutes with only four shots, Wake Forest had its best scoring chance of the game after the Blue Devils failed to clear a cross into the box. Lee Page found herself wide open, but Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell made a diving stop to her right to send the match into overtime with one second remaining.
Duke held a 13-5 shot advantage at the end of regulation with Weinberg leading the way with five attempts.
Just 52 seconds into overtime Wake Forest's Katie Stengel took the ball in the box and a Blue Devil defender fell down. Stengel drove near the end line and served in a cross that Duke was unable to clear and Marisa Park punched in her second goal of the season from point-blank range to conclude the match.
Duke held a 13-6 advantage in shots for the match with Weinberg posting a team-high five. Weinberg, who has scored an ACC-best 15 goals, was held scoreless for the fourth straight match. A total of seven Blue Devils attempted shots.
Campbell finished the day in goal for the Blue Devils with two saves, while Bledsoe added six for the Demon Deacons.
"We have to continue to believe in ourselves," said Church. "The NCAA Tournament is a whole different thing. It doesn't matter what has happened before, it matters what happens in the moment. We have a little time before we play again and who knows where we will play. We will be ready to play when the time comes up."
- Duke was held scoreless in the first half for only the eighth time this season.
- The Blue Devils dropped to 2-2-2 in overtime matches this season.
- In the ACC Tournament, Duke has now lost eight straight matches away from Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils have only one ACC Tournament win over the last eight contests.
- Duke was held scoreless for the fourth time this season - all against ACC opponents.