Oklahoma's football team wasn't the only No. 1 to fall this weekend-Duke made sure of it.
The No. 9 Blue Devils secured their best win of the season Saturday with a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Maryland in College Park, Md. It was Duke's first upset over a No. 1 team since 2006, when it shut out the Terrapins 2-0 in College Park.
The Blue Devils (9-3, 2-2 in the ACC) were aggressive from the start and relentless throughout in proving their ability to compete with any squad in the country.
"This team isn't intimidated by anybody," head coach Beth Bozman said. "We feel we're like one of the top teams in the country, and we're getting better every day."
Duke's Amie Survilla and Maryland's Susie Rowe, an All-American, went back and forth in the first half in keying their teams' scores. Duke came out of the gates firing as Survilla slipped one past the goalie just five minutes into the game. Rowe quickly provided the equalizer for Maryland (10-2, 3-1), depositing a loose ball into the net.
Not to be one-upped, Survilla found the cage again just two minutes after Rowe's goal. Rowe would then send the teams into halftime knotted at two with her penalty corner in the half's closing minutes.
Understanding the importance of a tiebreaking goal, the Blue Devils came out of the locker room with an offensive-minded approach. And just 10 minutes into the period, senior Marian Dickison gave the Blue Devils the spark they needed with her penalty corner.
Dickinson sent the ball into the box and found junior Lauren Miller, who followed up the offering with another shot before Dickinson slammed the second rebound home to give Duke a 3-2 lead.
"We were knocking on the door with every opportunity that we had," Bozman said. "We just stayed composed and in control of the game."
Although Dickinson's tiebreaker would prove to be all the Blue Devils needed, Bozman's squad kept the pressure on the Terrapins, pelting Maryland's Alicia Grater with 15 second-half shots. Perhaps more impressively, Duke held the high-powered Terrapins to just one second-half shot by keeping the ball on its side of the field.
In the match, Duke outshot the Maryland offensive juggernaut 24-9. The Terrapins entered the game averaging an ACC-leading 4.8 goals and 21.5 shots per game.
By maintaining its composure and strategy against a top opponent, Duke gained valuable experience that should prove beneficial as it prepares for its ultimate test: the postseason.
"We've known all year that we're young," Bozman said. "But if we keep improving, we're going to be in pretty good shape come November and the postseason tournaments."
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