CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The 13th-ranked Blue Devil field hockey team fell to top-ranked North Carolina, 5-0, on Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Henry Stadium. Duke falls to 4-5 (0-2 ACC) on the year, while North Carolina improves to 10-0 (1-0 ACC).
The initial minutes of the game saw back-and-forth play from both squads. A North Carolina shot entered the cage at the 13-minute mark, but the result was no goal, as the ball was deflected by Duke sophomore Brooke Patterson. North Carolina had three back-to-back penalty corner opportunities a few minutes later, but strong defensive play inside the circle by the Blue Devils kept the Tar Heels on hold.
With 10 minutes remaining in the period, senior goalie Caitlin Williams recorded her first two saves of the game on three consecutive Tar Heel shots, as the initial attempt off a UNC penalty corner was blocked by junior Laura Suchoski.
A Tar Heel breakaway with five and a half minutes remaining in the stanza was broken up by sophomore Lauren Miller, but UNC received its fifth penalty corner of the game on the play. The ball entered the cage but the result was no goal.
Duke had a breakaway opportunity and got off its first shot attempt at the three-minute mark, as freshman Casey Beyel’s attempt resulted in the Blue Devils’ first penalty corner of the game. Sophomore Amie Survilla’s shot was blocked and Patterson got off a nice second shot but it went just wide left to keep the score knotted at 0-0.
With 24 seconds remaining in the half, Jesse Gey slipped a shot past Williams to give North Carolina a 1-0 lead going into the break.
The Duke defense held strong against a high-scoring Tar Heel offense that tallied nine shots in the first half to the Blue Devils’ three attempts. UNC tallied five penalty corners to Duke’s one for the half, while Williams recorded three saves and Tar Heel keeper Brianna O’Donnell had none.
The second half saw the Tar Heels put two quick goals on the board to increase their advantage to 3-0, as Alli Tanner and Laree Beans netted goals for UNC.
North Carolina threatened again a couple minutes later, but senior Shayna McGeehan recorded Duke’s first defensive save of the year to keep the Heels’ lead at 3-0. Suchoski then got off a shot for the Blue Devils, but O’Donnell recorded her first save of the day to keep Duke off the scoreboard.
A penalty corner halfway through the period resulted in another Tar Heel goal from Rachel Dawson, and a minute later, UNC struck again on a tally from Heather Kendell, as North Carolina led 5-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
Junior Marian Dickinson got off a shot with six minutes left in the contest and Beyel followed suit with three and a half minutes left, but both attempts were saved by O’Donnell, as the Tar Heels came away with a 5-0 win.
North Carolina out-shot Duke, 20-6, and also held the advantage in penalty corners, 9-3. Williams recorded five saves on the day, while O’Donnell notched two and Jackie Kintzer recorded two for the Heels.
With the win, North Carolina takes a 1-0 lead in the 2007-08 Carlyle Cup, the annual all-sports competition between Duke and North Carolina sponsored by Carlyle & Co. of Greensboro, N.C.
In 2006-07, Duke and North Carolina finished the seventh annual Carlyle Cup competition tied for the first time with 13 points each, as UNC retained possession of the cup by virtue of having won it in 2005-06. Duke won the point in field hockey in 2006-07 during the regular season, but the Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils in the ACC Tournament, as both schools earned half a point for their institution. North Carolina and Duke have won three Carlyle Cups apiece. The Blue Devils prevailed in 2001, 2003 and 2004, while Carolina took home the cup in 2002, 2005 and 2006.
Duke will return home on Sunday to host unranked Richmond at 1 p.m. at Williams Field. Five seniors will be honored before the game.
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