DURHAM, N.C. – A solid defensive performance fueled an unrelenting attack on the cage Sunday as the seventh-ranked Blue Devils downed No. 14 Wake Forest, 3-1, at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Sophomore Aileen Johnson, senior Emmie Le Marchand and junior Jessica Buttinger tallied goals in the contest, with Le Marchand also adding an assist.
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in ACC play while also collecting its fifth consecutive win. The Demon Deacons fell to 8-4 and 0-3 in conference action with the loss.
“This team stays together and they stay together on task with what our goals are,” Bustin said. “I think that gave them the motivation today with a conference game in front of us that we had to show up and take care of it.”
A defensive battle emerged in the opening minutes of the match, though Duke utilized smooth passing outlets to create opportunities up top. The Blue Devils broke through for a score in the 28th minute when Le Marchand sent a ball inside for Johnson, who tapped it over the head of Wake Forest goalkeeper Valerie Dahmen for a 1-0 advantage.
The Duke defense remained steady for the rest of the half, holding the Demon Deacons to zero shots in the first 35 minutes of play.
Le Marchand doubled the squad’s lead less than 10 minutes into the second period as she fired a shot that careened off a Wake Forest defender and into the goal. The tally was the team-leading seventh of the year for the forward from Worcester, England, who now has 45 for her career.
The Blue Devils neutralized a couple of penalty corner opportunities by the visiting team before the Demon Deacons’ Molly Murphy capitalized on a breakaway to cut the score to 2-1 with just under six minutes to go. However, Duke responded just a couple of plays later when Buttinger touched in a goal off a penalty corner hit by Barreca.
The Blue Devil defense shut down Wake Forest the rest of the way to earn the 3-1 victory and move to 2-0 against ACC opponents.
“I was really proud of our defense today,” Rescigno said. “We just did a great job of outletting the ball around the backfield and getting up to the sidelines which was basically why we generated so much attack today and were so successful with shots.”
For the contest, Duke outshot the Demon Deacons 15-7 and led in penalty corners 5-3. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing recorded three saves against four shots on goal while Wake Forest’s Dahmen totaled eight saves in the loss.
Bustin's squad continues conference play next weekend, hosting Syracuse Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The game will be streamed live on GoDuke.com Inside Access.