BOSTON, Mass. – Paced by an offensive unit firing on all cylinders, the eighth-ranked Blue Devils downed Boston University by a 3-1 score Sunday afternoon at the Terriers’ New Balance Field. With the win, Duke improved to 13-4 overall and completed a 2-0 road trip to Boston after claiming a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 7 Boston College Saturday.
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad also finished the non-conference regular season portion of its slate with an impressive 9-2 ledger.
“Today’s game was equally as competitive as yesterday’s but just in a real different way,” Bustin said. “I was really proud of the way our team kept possession. Anything that was loose, the team really jumped on it to keep it on a Duke stick.”
Graduate student Cherry Seaborn got the Blue Devils off to a fast start offensively, knocking in a rebound after hitting the post on her previous shot. Her tally in the sixth minute marked her sixth goal of the season. However, the Terriers responded just a couple of plays later, as Sofi Laurito tied the match on a reverse stick drive just inside the post.
“We just shored up the defense and kind of calmed down a little bit and really focused on keeping the ball above the 50,” Bustin said. “Any kind of defensive organization we created, we wanted to do it as high in the field as possible and that allowed us to keep possession up in our end of the field.”
Duke maintained its intensity on the scoring end and regained the lead in the 15th minute when freshman Hunter Bracale sent a pass inside the circle to senior Emmie Le Marchand for a goal. Both teams had additional opportunities, with the Blue Devils earning a penalty corner just before the halftime whistle, but the score remained 2-1 in Duke’s favor at the intermission.
The visiting squad led in shots, 7-4, and held a 3-2 edge in penalty corners during the first 35 minutes of play.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing and the Blue Devil defense weathered four shots and two penalty corner opportunities for Boston University in the first 10 minutes of the second period. A penalty corner for Duke in the 55th minute resulted in Le Marchand’s second score of the day and team-leading 10th of the year, as she redirected the ball in front of the cage to push the margin to two at 3-1. Junior Jessica Buttinger was credited with her fourth assist of the season on the play.
The Blue Devil defense continued to cut off looks by the Terriers and remained stalwart the rest of the way to seal the road win.
Each team totaled 11 shots in the contest while Duke led in penalty corners by a 7-5 margin. Lauren Blazing registered three saves, with all three coming in the second half, and Boston University’s Valentina Cerda had one stop in the loss.
“It’s always a huge challenge to win on the road,” Bustin said. “But I think when you’re coming up into a different climate and two very good opponents, I’m extremely proud of the way our kids stayed on the grind.”
Following this weekend’s road trip, the Blue Devils return home to host ACC foe Maryland Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The program’s eight seniors will be honored at that contest.