Duke suffers 1st defeat

Playing against a rival is always difficult-and even more so when a team has to travel to a hostile environment and face one of the best teams in the country.

These challenges proved too much to overcome for the No. 2 Blue Devils, who never adjusted to these tough conditions in their first conference game of the season.

No. 5 Maryland defeated the Blue Devils 15-13 in College Park, Md. Saturday in a match that saw seven ties and four lead changes. The Terrapins (3-0, 1-0 in the ACC) handed the Blue Devils (4-1, 0-1) their first loss of the year.

"Overall, I don't think this was a great performance. We did some things well, but I just felt like we did not play our kind of game," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "We did not control the game's tempo and make big stops defensively.. We had too many turnovers and allowed too many soft goals."

Initially, Duke started out strong, as senior attacker Caroline Cryer scored her first of five goals just 30 seconds into the match on a one-timer from fellow senior Carolyn Davis. At 25:42, Davis scored a one-timer of her own, and a goal from Jess Adam brought the Blue Devils' lead to 3-1.

The Terrapins quickly answered with four unanswered goals, causing Kimel's squad to make some defensive adjustments, which included face-guarding two of Maryland's attackers, junior Amanda Spinnenweber and freshman Karri Ellen Johnson.

These changes in defensive strategy proved successful for Duke. Limiting the duo's offensive touches enabled the Blue Devils to start an offensive rally of their own, as three more goals from Cryer, and one from Davis and sophomore midfielder Sarah Bullard, left both teams tied at eight.

The Blue Devils even led in the second half 10-9 with 28:10 remaining, but defensive lapses enabled the Terrapins to rally back and build a 15-11 lead.

"There were points in the second half where we were not poised. On defense, we had a difficult time clearing the ball and did not make stops we should have made," Kimel said. "We allowed Maryland to go on a run in the second half, and could not recover from that."

It did not help Kimel's team that it played two players down for most of the second half because of yellow cards. As a result, her squad could not generate the scoring opportunities it needed to pull ahead.

Despite not exhibiting its best performance, Duke showed flashes of life in the last minute of regulation by netting two goals to cut Maryland's lead to 15-13.

In an up-and-down match in which the Blue Devils did not come close to playing up to their full potential, they still managed to lead during several parts of the game.

"We definitely made some mistakes and played very much unlike ourselves," Kimel said. "It's still early in the season, and we will continue to try and improve as we move forward."


Share and discuss “Duke suffers 1st defeat” on social media.