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Despite miscues, Duke forces tie

In their second game of ACC conference play in just three days, the Blue Devils yet again found themselves facing a 2-1 deficit with less than 10 minutes left in regulation Tuesday night.

But unlike Duke's improbable comeback victory against Wake Forest Sept. 18, the Blue Devils failed to find the net in the overtime periods and tied Virginia Tech, 2-2, in Blacksburg, Va.

"It was one of those games where everything that could go wrong went wrong," Duke head coach John Rennie said.

With the game knotted at one in the 78th minute, a Blue Devil midfielder played a ball back to a defender, who accidentally headed it past Duke goalkeeper Justin Papadakis for a rare own goal.

To make matters worse, less than six minutes later, midfielder Paul Dudley received a red card and was ejected after sliding into Virginia Tech goalkeeper Chase Harrison.

Despite having to play a man down, Duke (3-1-1, 1-0-1 in the ACC) evened the score at 2 with 1:31 remaining in the game. Chris Loftus headed in his team-leading fifth goal of the season off of a corner kick from the left side.

"To fight back after we were down, especially against Wake Forest, and then tonight at Virginia Tech, it's a testament to our team and our work ethic," Loftus said. "We're not going to give up until its over. We're going to play all 90 minutes."

Although Duke outshot Virginia Tech (1-2-3, 0-0-2) 4-3 in the overtime periods, neither team was able to find the goal.

It was the Blue Devils' second-straight double overtime contest and the Hokies' fourth, but Rennie rotated players throughout the game in an attempt to prevent his team from becoming fatigued.

"To go into overtime and still have all that energy says a lot about our team," Loftus said. "We were not as fatigued as Virginia Tech was."

Duke's best chance at the win came early in the first overtime period, when Danny Kramer had an open look at the goal, but Harrison made the save.

"To play two overtime games in three days in the ACC is incredible," Rennie said. "Our team really proved its fitness and resiliency. You're always disappointed when you don't win, but I couldn't be prouder about coming out with a tie in this situation."

Midfielder Blake Camp scored Duke's first goal three minutes into the game off an assist from freshman Mike Grella. It was Grella's team-leading fourth assist of the season.

After letting an early lead slip away, the Blue Devils recognize that they cannot become passive, Camp said.

"As a team, we have a tendency to let teams hang around, instead of putting them away," Camp said. "We have to work on building that killer mentality."


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