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Shot barrage carries Duke to win

Friday the eight seniors on the women's soccer team played their final regular season minutes in Koskinen Stadium and celebrated their Senior Day with a win.

No. 13 Duke outshot Miami 28-5 on its way to a 3-1 victory.

For the Blue Devils (12-4-1, 6-4 in the ACC), who rode a two-match losing streak into the game against the Hurricanes (8-11-1, 2-8-0), the victory was more than a nice way to send off their upperclassmen.

"It's the biggest win of the season," head coach Robbie Church said. "Carolina was a big individual win. [The Miami victory] gives us a win going into the ACC Tournament in the right mindset."

Duke seniors Kate Seibert and Shelly Marshall provided the Blue Devils with an early offensive spark that the team sustained for most of the first half. In the game's opening minutes, the duo sent a number of crosses through the Hurricanes' 18-yard box. After clearing the first few crosses, Miami finally allowed a series of shots, but Duke's attempts went either high, wide, or directly to the Hurricanes' goalkeeper.

The Blue Devils finally broke the scoreless tie with 23:14 to play in the first half. Dribbling down the left side of the field, Marshall played a cross to an unmarked Carolyn Riggs on the far side of the goal. The senior forward trapped the ball with her chest just inside the 18-yard line and rolled the ball back toward the left post and into the net.

Nine minutes later, Duke extended its lead to 2-0 when forward Sarah McCabe one-timed a pass from midfielder Lauren Tippets into an open goal from the left side of the six-yard box.

The Blue Devils continued to attack the Miami goal for the remainder of the half and did not surrender a shot on goal until the 45th minute.

"Two-to-zero is a dangerous score," Church said. "You feel like you have the game in hand."

Duke's victory was far from secure as the Hurricanes cut the Blue Devil lead to one goal 14 minutes into the second half.

On a corner kick, a Miami defender headed a shot toward the goal and the ball bounced off the crossbar to Hurricane midfielder Kelly Pflugner, who volleyed the rebound past Blue Devil goalie Alex Morant. Morant started over Allison Lipsher because it was senior night.

In the next 15 minutes, Seibert and Rebecca Moros both tallied shots but failed to extend the lead.

But with 14:02 to play, Seibert put all hopes of a Hurricane comeback to rest. She dribbled through two defenders on the right side of the 18-yard box before curling a shot into the left side of the net.

The goal-Seibert's third of the season-sealed both an emotional win for the seniors and an important victory for the Blue Devils as they head into the ACC Championships, which begin Nov. 2nd.

"We were just pumped to come out here and finish off what we started four years ago," senior defender Heidi Hollenbeck said.

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