Duke didn’t need extra time to emerge victorious against the Demon Deacons.
The No. 7 Blue Devils came away with a win in their fifth straight game, beating No. 14 Wake Forest 3-1 at Jack Katz Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Duke (10-2, 2-0 in the ACC) had to manage a quick turnaround after winning against California Friday in double overtime. Head coach Pam Bustin said she pleased with the team’s weekend preparation and response.
“They handled it really well. We knew right away on Friday that it was time to get ready for today,” Bustin said. “This team stays together and they stay on task with what our goals are. That gave them the motivation today with a conference game in front of us and we had to show up and take care of it.”
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, with neither team able to put the ball in the cage until sophomore midfielder Aileen Johnson sailed the ball over Wake Forest goalkeeper Valerie Dahman’s head in the 28th minute off of a pass from senior forward Emmie Le Marchand.
“We had some great looks, we hit some crossbars and their goalkeeper made some great saves,” Bustin said. “It was just a matter of staying a little more patient and finishing the attack.”
Duke would add to its lead shortly after halftime when Le Marchand was credited with a goal that appeared to bounce into the cage off the leg of a Demon Deacon defender. Le Marchand would finish the game with five shots on goal and two assists in addition to her tally.
“Emmie’s play just keeps getting better and better,” Bustin said. “I could not be more proud of her energy and presence out there. She is a team player right now and that is making her better individually.”
The Blue Devil defense also put forth an impressive performance, especially in the first half, as Wake Forest was not able to record any shots on goal.
Although absent from the stat sheet, senior defenders Brenna Rescigno and Paula Heimbach's play was crucial to preventing Wake Forest from getting shots on goal.
“I was really proud of our defense and [redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing] made some great saves,” Rescigno said. “Paula and Amanda [Kim], our two center backs, and Hannah [Barreca] and myself, we just did a great job at outletting around the backfield and getting it up the sidelines, which was basically why we generated so much attack today and were so successful with shots.”
The Demon Deacons would have more success against the Duke defense in the second half, managing four shots, including a goal by Wake Forest senior Molly Murphy, who put the ball in from eight yards out to cut Duke’s lead to one.
After winning ACC Player of the Week for her performance against North Carolina and Longwood last weekend, Blazing recorded three saves in the second half.
“Wake changed their personnel in those areas in the second half and they were able to put a little bit more pressure on us and got a couple of corners,” Bustin said. “They kept on task and didn’t overreact to anything. Lauren Blazing made some great saves to take some of the pressure off.”
Less than three minutes after surrendering a goal, the Blue Devils sealed the victory when sophomore Barreca took the pass from Le Marchand and scored her second goal of the season. This put the Blue Devils in firm control during the final minutes of the game.
“I wasn’t trying too hard to think about scoring, with the 2-1 lead we had them and we were playing solid," Barreca said."But it was nice to finish it and top off the score.”