Blue Devils Eliminated by Penn--Again

For the first time in the last five years, Duke will not be playing in the Final Four as its championship aspirations were ended Saturday.

Despite pulling out a thrilling overtime victory last weekend against conference rival Virginia, the Blue Devils could not repeat the effort as they lost in extra time to Pennsylvania 10-9 in the national quarterfinal. This marks the second straight season that the No. 4 Quakers (15-2) knocked Duke out of the tournament as last year the teams' semifinal matchup yielded a similar result.

"I definitely want to congratulate Penn--they played a hell of a game," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "I’m also really proud of our girls. We dug ourselves a really good hole in first half, but we chipped away and put ourselves in position to win both at the end of regulation and in overtime."

 Though the No. 5 Blue Devils (15-6) did not win the game, effort was certainly not the reason that Kimel’s squad did not advance to the next round.

After not getting into its offensive rhythm early, Duke fell behind 7-2 at halftime and it seemed as if nothing could go right for the team. Yet rather than giving up, the Blue Devils came out on an offensive tear, scoring the first seven goals of the second half to take the lead 9-7.

The team received scoring from its usual suspects with junior Lindsay Gilbride four goals leading the way. Fellow junior Danielle Kachulis also had two scores, while senior captains Caroline Cryer and Jess Adam along with sophomore Sarah Bullard each added one tally.

Penn managed to even the score at 9-9 at the end of the second half, and for the second consecutive weekend Duke played in extra time.

The game remained tied until 5 seconds before the second extra period ended, when Penn’s Becca Edwards sent the game winner past senior goalie Kim Imbesi, leaving the Blue Devils no time to try and respond.

“We just couldn’t finish,” coach Kimel said. “This is a tough way for our senior class to end."


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