SYRACUSE, N.Y. – After taking a 2-0 lead into the locker room at the half on the road against Syracuse, the 16th-ranked Duke women’s soccer team allowed two second half goals and closed the match with a 2-2 draw at SU Soccer Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.
It marked the first meeting in school history for the two squads. The draw moves the Blue Devils to 4-4-2 overall and 1-2-1 in ACC play, while Syracuse is now 4-5-1, 0-3-1.
The Blue Devils came out of the gate and registered their quickest goal of the season at the 2:29 mark of the first stanza. Freshman Toni Payne fired a shot that was saved by Syracuse goalkeeper Brittany Anghel, but Duke senior Laura Weinberg was there to fire in a goal for the second straight match.
Weinberg, who is out of Boca Raton, Fla., now owns 36 career goals and 93 points, which each rank third all-time on the Duke career record books.
Duke kept attacking the Syracuse defense and registered its second goal of the match at the 39:21 mark as senior Avery Rape found redshirt senior Kim DeCesare to put the Blue Devils ahead, 2-0. The goal for DeCesare is the 26th of her career and her team-best third of the season. DeCesare, who is out of Massapequa Park, N.Y., was playing in her first collegiate match in her home state of New York.
At the end of the first half, Duke held a 7-5 shot advantage led by Weinberg and freshman Christina Gibbons with two each. The two goals in the first half for the Blue Devils was a season high.
Syracuse was the team that came out on the attack in the second half as the Orange totaled two corner kicks and a shot over the first six minutes of action. The work paid off for Syracuse as it registered the Orange’s first goal of the match at the 52:09 mark on a corner kick to Stephanie Skilton.
Duke responded with back-to-back shots by Weinberg, but one went high and the other was saved by Anghel. Syracuse then added the equalizer in the 64th minute, after a scramble in front of the goal that moved the score to 2-2.
DeCesare and junior Kelly Cobb of the Blue Devils attempted the next two shots of the match, but Anghel saved both. DeCesare added two late shots in regulation. Through 90 minutes of play Duke held a 13-11 advantage in shots, but the match went to overtime with a 2-2 ledger.
In the first overtime, Duke featured a flurry of shots by senior Kaitlyn Kerr and DeCesare along with two corner kicks in a span of two minutes but one shot was blocked and the other went wide.
Syracuse opened the second overtime with a corner kick, which then resulted in a shot by Rachel Blum, but the attempt was saved by the Blue Devils. Duke was held to just one attempt in the final period off the leg of Weinberg, but it was saved.
Duke held a 17-11 edge in shots for the match, including 11 attempts on goal. DeCesare led the way with six shots, while Weinberg added five.
In goal for the Blue Devils, redshirt sophomore Ali Kershner totaled five saves over 110 minutes of play.
The Blue Devils will next host top-ranked Virginia on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Koskinen Stadium. The match will be aired live on the ACC Digital Network.
• Duke allowed two second half goals for the second straight match. Over the last three matches, Duke has allowed seven goals, after letting in only four goals the first six contests. • Senior Avery Rape posted her first collegiate assist in the first half on Kim DeCesare’s goal. • Kim DeCesare now owns 26 career goals, which ranks tied eighth on Duke’s all-time charts.
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