Junior Laura Weinberg netted two goals in the first half to secure a 3-0 win and post a personal best of 11 goals on the season.
No. 5 Duke (8-2-1, 2-1-1 in the ACC) took on Clemson (5-5-2, 0-4-0) at home, stretching the Tigers’ losing streak to four games and extending its unbeaten streak at Koskinen Stadium to 20.
With no games this past weekend, the well-rested Blue Devils came out with energy, determined to win an ACC matchup after tying No. 10 Maryland 2-2 last week in double overtime. Duke did not give the defense-oriented Clemson team a chance in the first half, keeping the majority of play around the Tiger goal, eventually outshooting them 22-1 in the first 45 minutes.
“We really did a god job of attacking the flanks,” head coach Robbie Church said. “The execution up the field and the way we ran it was really good, I think there were some more goals we could have put it, unfortunately some hit the crossbar, some hit the keeper, some were wide, but it wasn’t from the lack of effort.”
In the 17th minute, freshman Cassie Pecht drove a ball straight at the goalkeeper, who was not able to control the catch. The rebound was collected by Laura Weinberg, who put it away for a 1-0 advantage and notched her 10th goal in 11 games. She has now scored a point in six of the last seven games.
Just seven minutes later Weinberg did it again, keeping her composure in the box and finding the right corner of the goal off an assist from juniors Gilda Doria and Kaitlyn Kerr. This marked her seventh career multi-goal game, tying her for second in Duke history.
“It feels awesome,” Weinberg said. “Freshman year I had 10, and last year I had eight, so it has been amazing to just improve on that and get the goals this year.”
With a slower start to the second half, the Blue Devils kept up both their offensive and defensive pressure, but allowed Clemson to get closer to the goal. Regardless, the Tigers could not find the back of the net, and Duke finished the game outshooting them 31-4 and took 13 corners to Clemson’s zero. Senior goalkeeper Tara Campbell recorded one save in the shutout, giving her 29 shutouts in her career.
“We have to put 90 minutes together,” Church said. “It’s hard when you dominate so strong in a half to get back, I understand that as a player, but we have got to compete all the time. “
Sophomore Katie Trees’ goal in the 78th minute, off of a feed from the end line by Pecht, secured the victory for the Blue Devils.
For the Tigers, the second half was characterized by eight fouls, in what became a physical game.
“We were able to keep the ball really well,” Weinberg said, “and just possess and play our game and knock it around, which we are used to doing. We were able to play around all their tackling, just keeping the ball was our big thing this game.”
At the end of the first half, sophomore Kelly Cobb suffered an ankle sprain that sidelined her for the remainder of the match. Cobb, who is playing in only her second game since her return from the U-20 World Cup, is still dealing with a knee injury she sustained abroad. Freshman Kelly McCann injured her knee toward the end of the second half. She will undergo an MRI tomorrow to see the extent of the injury.
Heading to take on No. 3 Virginia on Sunday, the Blue Devils are happy to start the weekend doubleheader with a victory.
“This was a huge game for us,” Weinberg said. “It was a turning point, we knew we had to get this win going forward so we are really looking forward to Virginia, but we are happy we got these three points today.”