For the second straight year Wake Forest eliminated the Blue Devils from the ACC tournament.
Despite dominating most of the contest, sixth-seeded Duke (12-5-2) was stunned by a sudden-death goal 52 seconds into overtime and the third-seeded Demon Deacons (13-4-3) advanced to the semifinals to face Maryland, winning 1-0 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“It is a cruel game,” Duke head coach Robbie Church told GoDuke.com. “We deserved better than that, but that is what happens in this game. I just feel so sick for our kids. They have worked so hard all week preparing for this game. We played really well at times. There were some questionable decisions at times that we made with the ball, but overall I thought we played great, hard and controlled most of the play. But you have to score goals in this game and we let goals and opportunities get by.”
The importance of playing at home for this stage was highlighted as all four host teams, the top four seeds, advanced. The Blue Devils’ only victory in last year’s conference championships came when they hosted the quarterfinal round at Koskinen Stadium.
Leading scorer Laura Weinberg registered the first shot in the 12th minute, but Demon Deacon goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe would record one of her six saves of the game. Weinberg would be held scoreless for the fourth consecutive game. Duke had eight shots to Wake Forest’s one at the end of the first half. The Demon Deacons did not have a shot until the 40th minute.
The same trend would continue in the second half and the Blue Devils ended the game with a 13-6 shot advantage.
Duke’s best chance came late in the game when junior Mollie Pathman crossed a ball into the box. Kim DeCesare attempted a diving header but failed to put the ball on target.
Wake Forest had one chance at the end of the game, when a series of mistakes left Lee Page open. Tara Campbell was able to stop Page’s shot with a diving save, sending the game into overtime.
This save proved to matter little in the final result as less than a minute into the sudden-death overtime period, Demon Deacon Katie Stengel dribbled into the box and with a large slice of luck, a defender slipped allowing her to race free. Stengel passed the ball back into the box and with the Blue Devils unable to clear, Marisa Park shot the ball into the net, ending Duke’s run in the tournament.