Heading into this weekend, Duke prepared for its version of a Boston showdown. The Blue Devils faced not only Boston College Saturday, but Boston University Sunday. In the showdown’s first matchup, an incredibly hard-fought defensive struggle, No. 12 Boston College (7-4, 1-2 in the ACC) left Katz Stadium with the 1-0 win.
The No. 13 Blue Devils (5-6, 0-3) were yet again without senior Susan Ferger in the game, and it was evident that her presence was sorely needed. In the first half, both sides had their moments, but ultimately neither team was able to maintain an offensive flow with both teams combining for only one shot on goal.
“We did not stick to our game plan in the first half,” head coach Beth Bozman said.
However, as soon as the second half began, the halftime adjustments for both teams began to show up. Duke made a strong concerted effort at taking more shots and creating more penalty corners, but like the first half, it couldn’t capitalize. The Blue Devils outshot Boston College 7-4 and had more penalty corners, too, but Boston College was able to take advantage of fewer opportunities.
In the 61st minute, Eagle Emily Kozniuk scored off a penalty corner when Marlotte van den Bergh fed her the ball from the top of the arc. Kozniuk’s goal would be the game’s only score.
“I think we’re all frustrated beyond words,” Bozman said. “We’ve had the opportunities… and outshot [Boston College]. We just need to find a way to dig the ball into the cage.”
In the weekend’s second game against No. 11 Boston University (7-4) Duke was able to reverse the scoreline, winning a tough matchup, 1-0. Freshman Caashia Karringten scored the game-winning goal off a penalty corner at the very beginning of the second half. Senior captain Samantha Nelson had another solid performance, stopping six shots and earning her fourth shutout of the season.
After splitting their weekend matches, the Blue Devils now begin a tough road stretch for the month of October as they play four consecutive away games. However, Bozman believes the slate, against all unranked teams, will get Duke back on the right track.
“Our expectations are the same now as they’ve been all [season long],” Bozman said. “We should be playing better than we are… and winning these games.”
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