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Nielsen Notches Game-Winning Goal to Down Old Dominion
Saturday 10/17/2010  -  Duke Sports Information
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Mary Nielsen registered the game-winning goal 42 seconds into overtime...
NORFOLK, Va.  - Blue Devil sophomore Mary Nielsen registered the game-winning goal 42 seconds into overtime as the 16th-ranked Duke field hockey team avenged an early season loss to the Lady Monarchs with a 4-3 win over No. 19 Old Dominion Sunday afternoon.

Duke (8-8, 0-4 ACC) jumped out to a 3-0 lead by halftime, but saw its advantage disappear down the stretch as Old Dominion (7-9, 4-1 CAA) responded with three second half goals to time the contest with five minutes to play in regulation. Yet the resilient Blue Devils did not allow the shift in momentum to affect their effort heading into the extra period. Freshman Emmie Le Marchand intercepted a pass in the ODU end and went one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper. Although her shot was deflected, Nielsen was there for the rebound, scoring on a low-angle shot to secure the win less than a minute into the overtime period.

"I think we played the best first half we've played all season," head coach Beth Bozman said. "We really capitalized on the scoring opportunities and played a good possession game, but we let some key opportunities slip away in the second half. Old Dominion had a great game plan against us and was able to capitalize, but in the end, we took immediate control in overtime and got a real quick goal. We're happy with the outcome, but we need to put together 70 minutes."

The Blue Devils wasted little time securing the early 1-0 lead as freshman Brenna Rescigno found the back of the cage on a penalty corner chance in the sixth minute of play. Duke added to its lead at the 24:50 mark with Rescigno again converting a penalty corner opportunity. Classmate Le Marchand and junior Stefanie Fee assisted on both Rescigno tallies.

Five minutes later, Le Marchand picked up her team-leading seventh goal of the year, assisted by Nielsen, to extend Duke's lead to 3-0.

Up by three heading into the second half, Duke looked firmly in control, but Old Dominion was able to claw its way back into the game, starting with goal from Kathryn Kirk in the 49th minute. ODU's Maarje Van Rijswijk pulled the Lady Monarchs within one goal nine minutes later and Old Dominion scored the game-tying goal at the 65:18 mark to force overtime.

Old Dominion led Duke in both shots (16-12) and penalty corners (9-6), but the Blue Devils made the most of their opportunities to secure the win.

"We wanted to finish," Bozman added. "We had so many scoring opportunities when we played them the first time and weren't able to finish. The kids really stepped up and stuck the ball in every opportunity in the first half. That was our goal all along, to play like we have been, but just finish."

In addition, Duke starting goalkeeper Samantha Nelson made seven saves in the contest, while her Old Dominion counterpart, Devon Seifert stopped three shots.

Duke returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 23, traveling to University Park, Pa., to take on No. 11 Penn State at 12 p.m. The Blue Devils close out both the ACC slate and the regular season schedule Saturday, Oct. 30 at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium against No. 3 Virginia.

-d-u-k-e-


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