Blue Devils earn point at Wake in 1-1 2OT tie

Duke played at Wake Forest Thursday night in what was billed as a matchup between equals. One hundred and 10 minutes later, the scoreline did nothing to suggest otherwise.

The Blue Devils and the Demon Deacons played to a 1-1 draw after two overtime periods in a typical ACC battle as each team had its chances, but neither was able to finish the game off.

Duke entered the game with high hopes of collecting a victory to create some space in a tight conference race with just four games remaining on the ACC schedule. Unfortunately, the team came out with very little energy in the first half, allowing Wake Forest to establish a rhythm and take control early.

The Demon Deacons scored just one goal, but the margin could have been greater as they outshot the Blue Devils 6-1 in the opening period. Defender Christie McDonald noted that the overall team defense was weak, placing extra pressure on the back line and ultimately resulting in the opposition's goal.

During the break, head coach Robbie Church emphasized the need to work harder and give a greater effort in order to get a result against a very strong team.

"We challenged our girls at halftime to be able to turn this game around," Church said.

Needing a goal to tie the score, Duke changed its formation to a 3-4-3, a set-up that the team had not employed all season. The team responded impressively and played extremely well on both sides of the ball in the second half.

"I think everyone decided to pick up the pressure, which makes it easy on the back four," McDonald said. "They weren't getting back to our line as much so we were able to handle their forwards."

McDonald also contributed to the offensive effort in the second half, as she played up alongside the Duke forwards in the new formation. Forward Elisabeth Redmond said that it was helpful to have a tall player like McDonald up front to help hold off bigger defenders.

The Blue Devils had many more shots on goal in the second period and in the overtime sessions, outshooting the Demon Deacons 8-4 in that span, including a 7-0 edge in the last 37 minutes of the game. After midfielder CJ Ludemann netted the tying goal from 35 yards out with 12 minutes left, the team had a few opportunities to win the game but could not convert.

"I think we definitely should have won that game," Ludemann said. "We were attacking them left and right-we just couldn't get a goal."

But the theme that resonated from the team after the game was not its inability to score; it was its uninspired play in the first half.

"It's a little frustrating. We have spurts of great soccer, and we have spurts that are not so great," McDonald said. "We have to perform for the entire game."

With only three weeks left before the ACC tournament and a tough road until then, Church similarly emphasized the importance of playing hard for the entire game.

"We're not going to win in this league not playing 90 minutes," he said.


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