CHAPEL HIL, N.C. - The No. 1 Duke women's soccer team cruised to a 5-1 exhibition victory over the University of Montreal on Friday evening to open the UNC Nike Classic at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"I was disappointed with the way we played in the first half and started the game," said Duke head coach Robbie Church. "It was a tough game to play being on a Friday afternoon, not knowing much about Montreal and knowing it is an exhibition game. That makes it a tough situation, but I am really happy how we responded in the second half. It was complete domination in the second half. "
The Blue Devils got things going early in the first half as freshman Cassie Pecht made a great run down the left side of the pitch and fed a cross into the box to the head of redshirt junior Kim DeCesare. A product of Massapequa Park, N.Y., DeCesare headed a shot off the crossbar and came back to the right foot of junior Kaitlyn Kerr. Kerr, who is out of Bensalem, Pa., then punched in a goal to give Duke a 1-0 advantage in the 12th minute.
Duke added a second goal in the 33rd minute as Pecht dribbled down the midfield, beat two Montreal defenders and hit the bottom left corner to put the Blue Devils ahead 2-0.
Following subbing all 10 field players, Montreal got a goal of its own with only two seconds remaining in the first half. Karine Constantin found a streaking Eva Thouvenot-Hebert with a ball over top and she beat Duke goalkeeper Ali Kershner in a one-v-one opportunity.
At the end of the first half, Duke led 2-1 and outshot the Carabins, 10-1.
Duke netted a quick goal to start the second half as Laura Weinberg fired a shot that was saved by Montreal goalkeeper Martine Julien. Off the rebound, Pecht fed DeCesare, who punched in the tally at the 47th minute.
DeCesare added a second goal in the 65th minute as she stole a pass in the box from a Montreal defender and placed a perfect shot just inside the left post to give Duke a 4-1 advantage. Avery Rape fed Katie Trees in the 81st minute to close the scoring for the evening at 5-1.
For the match, Duke outshot Montreal, 26-1.
In goal for the Blue Devils, Kershner made her first career start and allowed one goal in 45 minutes, before redshirt sophomore Meghan Thomas came in the second half and didn't allow a shot.
Duke will be back in action on Sunday, Aug. 26 against 20th-ranked Florida at 1:00 p.m., in the UNC Nike Classic.
"The competition goes up on Sunday, which is exactly what we need right now," said Church. "We need to play a team that is going to play us a full 90 minutes. I cannot wait until Sunday and see how we respond."
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