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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 2 Duke women’s soccer team registered a 2-0 victory over No. 24 South Carolina on Thursday evening in exhibition action at Stone Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

“I thought we played really well early as we dominated the game and were dangerous,” said Duke head coach Robbie Church.  “There were flashes during the game when we played well, but there were flashes when it showed we have a lot of work to do.”

The Blue Devils got things started quickly as senior Nicole Lipp sent a free kick from 25 yards to the head of redshirt junior Kim DeCesare, who headed in the first goal of the match in the 12th minute. 

The free kick was set up just before when DeCesare was streaking down the pitch, after getting behind the defense.  South Carolina goalkeeper, Darien Vercillo, came out of the penalty area and collided with DeCesare and was awarded with a yellow card.  Two minutes later, Vercillo left the match with an injury from the previous play.

At the end of the first half, Duke held a 6-0 advantage in shots. 

“Overall, our ball possession, our ball-movement and our movement off the ball was good,” commented Church.  “I thought our final ball wasn’t great all night and that kept us from scoring some goals.  It is a good starting point for sure but we still have a lot of work to do.”

In the 64th minute, play was suspended due to lightening, but resumed after a 30-minute delay. 

At the 72:45 mark of the second half, sophomore Katie Trees registered an excellent goal as she turned and fired a rocket into the top of the net from 30 yards out to put the Blue Devils ahead, 2-0.  The tally went just over Gamecock goalkeeper Alex Holland’s head.

For the match, Duke held a 9-7 lead in shots, but South Carolina outshot the Blue Devils 7-3 over the final 60 minutes.

In goal for the Blue Devils, Duke split time with Alex Kershner, Tara Campbell and Meghan Thomas.  Campbell, who enters her senior season with 27 shutouts, posted one save, while Thomas added three in 30 minutes.

“I thought we defended pretty well, individually, and as a whole group,” commented Church.

Duke will open the 2012 campaign on Friday, Aug. 17 at William & Mary and will host its first home contest on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 6:00 p.m., against Elon at Koskinen Stadium.

Notes:

- Duke played the contest without All-America Kaitlyn Kerr due to injury.  All-ACC selections Mollie Pathman and Kelly Cobb will miss the entire non-conference slate as they are playing on the U.S. U-20 World Cup team in Japan. 

- duke -

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