The Blue Devils powered 31 shots from every flank of the attacking third in their second ACC matchup—but they scored only one goal after 110 minutes of action.
Despite taking the lead thanks to a first-half goal from junior defender Rebecca Quinn, No. 19 Duke tied against Boston College 1-1 at The Newton Soccer Field Thursday evening in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Blue Devils registered their second consecutive conference draw, as they also tied against defending national champion Florida State 0-0 at Koskinen Stadium Sept. 20.
“I thought we played really well and we controlled the game from the opening minute all the way through,” Duke head coach Robbie Church said. “We were just a bit nervous around the goal and a little bit scared to miss [the target.] Balls just didn’t go in but I couldn’t ask our kids to do everything else any better. I’d be more concerned if we wouldn’t create any chances and not scoring goals. Right now, we just have got to stay focused and keep doing the things we’re doing to create opportunities.”
In the 39th minute, junior captain Christina Gibbons put a low cross inside the Eagles’ box from the left side of the pitch and Quinn fired from the penalty spot after controlling the ball. Although Boston College goalkeeper Alexis Bryant blocked the shot, the ball found the back of the net and the Blue Devils found themselves with a 1-0 lead. However, Eagle forward Hayley Dowd tallied her sixth goal this season five minutes after intermission, flicking the ball into the far corner with a single touch from 14 yards out.
Duke (6-2-3, 0-0-2 in the ACC) dominated the first period outshooting Boston College (7-3-1, 1-0-1) 11-2.
Church’s squad tried to find openings in the Eagles’ defense from the opening whistle especially, on the left flank. Gibbons, freshman Taylor Racioppi and junior Toni Payne attempted give-and-go combinations but couldn’t get clear sights on goal.
Duke had the first opportunity to break the scoreless draw in the 13th minute. Payne racked up a low shot from outside the box but it went wide. One minute later, Racioppi registered her first of nine shots but an Eagle defender blocked the strike. During the following play, Gibbons found a bouncing ball outside the box and fired, but the ball flew above the crossbar.
In the 19th minute, Boston College had its first opportunity to put the 1-0 on the scoreboard but Dowd missed the target from five yards out. Nine minutes later, the Eagle forward shot the ball too high and the scoreless draw remained on the board.
Two minutes after Quinn scored the first tally of the game and her second goal this season, sophomore defender Schuyler DeBree—who was selected to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week Tuesday—had to leave the game due to a knee injury. The Blue Devil center-back disputed a ball with an Eagle player and hurt herself accidentally when landing on the pitch.
After praising DeBree’s performances against Florida State and Boston College, Church said he was concerned about the defender’s injury.
“Unfortunately, she is hurt and we’ll get her to a doctor to find out how severe [her injury] is. I can definitely say she won’t play on Sunday,” Church said. “It’s a big blow to our defense. We just hope she gets healthy and that she can get back as soon as she can but it’s an injury that might take a little while.”
Despite DeBree’s injury and Dowd’s second-half goal, Duke stayed calm and continued looking to notch the winning goal. In a five-minute span, redshirt junior Cassie Pecht, sophomore Imani Dorsey and Racioppi each had an opportunity to add a score, but Bryant dealt with their attempts.
Ashton Miller had another opportunity with 14 minutes left but Bryan punched away the Blue Devil’s long-range free kick. Freshman Kayla McCoy—Duke’s leading scorer thus far this season with five goals—could have also sealed the Blue Devil victory with five minutes left but her shot went too wide.
Church’s squad outshot Boston College 8-4 during the two overtime periods but—like in the scoreless draw against the Seminoles—couldn’t manage to find the back of the net. Racioppi had three more chances to snap a six-game scoreless drought after regulation but the Boston College defenders and Bryant snuffed out her shots.
Sophomore goalkeeper E.J. Proctor totaled two saves against the Eagles. Duke’s defense controlled McKenzie Meehan—who entered the game as one of the top goal scorers in the nation with 10 goals—effectively as the forward was limited to only two strikes in the 110 minutes of action.
The Blue Devils will look to capture their first conference victory Sunday, when they take on top-ranked Virginia at Klöckner Stadium at 2 p.m.
“The kids are working hard. How we’re playing is encouraging, just the last pieces are just not going in,” Church said. “But the game we’ll come back to us. It’ll follow our way if we keep preparing and keep working like we are. We’re going up to Virginia and we’re going to look to get the three points up there.”
Published on Duke’s Chronicle