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Weary of overtime, Ferger scores game-winner

After a painful 3-2 loss to Wake Forest Saturday in quadruple overtime, Duke came out Sunday against No. 13 Drexel (2-2) energetic despite the long minutes played in the previous day’s contest. It paid off with a 2-1 overtime win.

The No. 10 Blue Devils (4-2) began the first quarter with tight defense and eight shots on goal. The Dragons met their advances and defense, however, with an equally determined performance. Only Duke’s freshman Emmie Le Marchand’s shot from four yards out could break the seven minute 0-0 stalemate.

“I think the aggression we took out of it really set the tone for the rest of the game,” Le Marchand said.

The remainder of the first half was largely characterized by an abundance of turnovers and near-missed penalty corners for both teams. With three minutes to go until halftime, Drexel’s Christina Mastropaolo rebounded the ball off a penalty corner. With the score tied at 1-1 at the half, Duke head coach Beth Bozman rounded her team in the locker room for a pep talk.

“We all felt we needed to do a little bit of a gut check to scrape up the energy and the drive that was needed to win the game,” Bozman said.

Visibly weary from their Saturday game, the Blue Devils kept the Dragons in check in the second half, foiling 11 shot attempts and taking 14 of their own. Duke moved the ball well and limited Drexel’s opportunities to set up plays. In possession with one minute to go in standard play, the Blue Devil offense made an attack at the goal.

Benefiting from a Dragon penalty, Duke attempted a play off the penalty corner. But the Drexel goalie Jenna Phillips, who made nine saves in the second half, crushed the Blue Devils’ hopes of evading yet another overtime.

With an abbreviated line-up, the Dragons and Blue Devils found themselves head to head in a sudden death duel.

The initial six minutes were turnover-filled, but with eight minutes to go, Le Marchand made a leading pass to senior forward Susan Ferger, who dodged the defense, pulled the Drexel goalie out to the right and slammed the ball in the left-hand corner for the game-winning goal.

“We were all really tired from our game yesterday,” Ferger said. “It felt good to score, but it felt even better to be done running.”

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