Duke earns 4 points over weekend on the road

Four games into their ACC schedule, the Blue Devils are feeling the heat of the battle.

After making the trip to then-No. 9 Boston College (8-0-3, 1-0-2 in the ACC) and playing to a 1-1 draw Friday against a defense that had allowed only one goal all season, Duke started to show signs of fatigue in its second road game of the weekend at N.C. State (5-4-2, 0-3-0) Sunday.

"I knew in the second half our legs would just leave us," head coach Robbie Church said.

Fortunately for the Blue Devils (7-2-3, 2-1-1), their legs held on just long enough to stave off a late charge by the Wolfpack to win 1-0 and collect four points on the weekend.

Sunday against N.C. State, freshman forward Rebecca Allen put the Blue Devils ahead in the 29th minute with a beautiful left-footed strike from 18 yards out.

Duke continued to apply the pressure in the first half, outshooting N.C. State 4-2, but was unable to score a second goal and deliver the knockout punch. After halftime, fatigue began to kick in.

"The game got really tight," Church said. "We just couldn't connect passes, get up and down the field."

The Wolfpack did not give up easily, either. They continued to attack the Blue Devils, but the Duke defense held strong. N.C. State nearly sent the game into overtime on a shot that entered the goal seconds after time expired.

"We contained very well," defender Christie McDonald said. "We didn't get out of position. We didn't get impatient, and we made them try to play through us."

The defense also had a strong showing against Boston College, forcing the Eagles to play out of their rhythm for much of the game. Their lone goal was off a corner kick.

On the other side of the ball, Duke's offense gave a solid effort against a tough Eagles defense. The team's offensive success was a result of its good ball movement and ability to play the game on the ground, midfielder Lorraine Quinn said.

In the 58th minute, defender Kelly McCann played a ball down the right side, where forward Elisabeth Redmond took a great first touch to eliminate the defender. Redmond then cut toward the goal and played the ball to Quinn, who finished to put the Blue Devils ahead 1-0. Church said the offense's ability to attack from the outside was what enabled Quinn to score.

"The goal was one of the best goals we've had all season," Church said.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the score did not stand as Boston College came back on a scrappy goal off a set piece.

Despite surrendering the lead, ending with four out of a possible six points for the weekend was satisfactory for Duke, especially considering the quality of teams in the ACC and the grueling nature of the schedule.

"After traveling a long weekend, getting a win-we'll take it," Quinn said.


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