Blue Devils record 3rd consecutive ACC tie

When No. 10 Florida State came to Koskinen Stadium Sunday, the Blue Devils were looking to avenge a 2006 ACC tournament loss that kept them out of the semifinals for the first time in five years.

Duke, however, would have to settle for its third consecutive draw, tying the Seminoles 1-1 in 110 minutes of play.

The Blue Devils' best chance to win came with 7:48 left in the second overtime, when junior Lorraine Quinn had her shot blocked off a Elisabeth Redmond corner kick and Kendall Bradley missed the rebound attempt wide right. That was the best opportunity for Duke (7-3-6, 2-2-4 in the ACC) to walk away victorious, but instead the team is one tie short of its single-season record, set in 2002.

Despite the draw, head coach Robbie Church said he was impressed with his team's performance against the Seminoles (10-4-3, 5-2-2).

"This was a different tie," Church said. "This is the best we have played all year for 90 minutes. We asked three things from [our players] all week. We asked them to play with emotion, passion and together for 90 minutes. We did it today, and we were the better team out here."

Down 1-0 with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, the Blue Devils appeared to be facing a loss until Redmond scored off a Meaghan FitzGerald assist, sending the ball past the outstretched arms of Florida state goalie Erin McNulty to even the match.

"One thing that we have done pretty well is fight back." said Redmond, who leads Duke in goals scored with six. "We never gave up."

Church, who called the sophomore a "big-time player," said he has been impressed with Redmond's poise when facing defenses that are keying in on her as their primary target.

On the other half of the field, Church continued to emphasize the importance of senior goalie Allison Lipsher, who again seemed to save the day for the team.

With just over a minute remaining in regulation, Florida State had a wide-open shot on a breakaway, but Lipsher ran out and made a spectacular save to send the contest into overtime.

"[Allison] is one of the best keepers in the country," Church said. "We can take some chances knowing that she is back there and we know that if we make some mistakes she will cover up."

The Seminoles threatened again in overtime, but solid Blue Devil defense and another strong save from Lipsher kept the game tied.

Although content to come away with a point against one of the nation's best, Duke is still frustrated with its recent string of ties, especially with the postseason looming.

"It is frustrating because we're a really good team, and I think we worked really hard today," Redmond said. "We deserved to win."

The Blue Devils' road ahead to qualify for the NCAA tournament will be tough, but Church believes his team is up to the challenge.

"I think a lesser character group would have dropped their heads and said 'Maybe it's not our year.'" Church said. "But they know that if we can just get into this tournament, we can play with anybody in the country."


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