After dropping a 1-0 decision to Drexel Friday, the Blue Devils redeemed themselves Sunday with their first victory of the season against Temple.
Fifth-ranked Duke’s matchup against the No. 24 Dragons at Buckley Field in Philadelphia was a game of one missed opportunity after another coupled with clutch saves by Drexel’s goalkeeper.
“We didn’t execute our opportunities,” Blue Devil head coach Pam Bustin said. “We absolutely created many, many opportunities in the circle, and we had a lot of corner situations. We keep creating corners, and that’s awesome; it’s just a matter of completing them. We had our chances toward the end of the match, but the Drexel goalkeeper had key saves at the end of the game.”
These end-of-game chances included two corner shots with less than 2:30 remaining on the clock, but the Dragons’ Jantien Gunter, a sophomore, came up with saves to keep Duke from tying the score. The Blue Devils dominated in penalty corners—with 14 compared to Drexel’s seven. The Dragons bested Duke in number of shots 12-10.
The game remained scoreless for the entire first half. Drexel sophomore Meghan Plank broke the stalemate in the game’s 50th minute, when her shot from the left side of the field found the back of the net. Three Duke corners followed the goal, but the Blue Devils could not capitalize, costing them the game.
“Drexel put a lot of high energy on the field for the entire 70 minutes,” Bustin said. “They did a good job of keeping up their pace of the game, which was a lot of running up and down the field, so that was a challenge for us to handle. I think we did a good job with it, but they scored on a crooked play. It was honestly good luck for them and bad luck for us, but it ended up being the winning goal.”
Less than 48 hours later, Duke was back on the field to take on the Owls.
Blue Devil senior Chelsea Amsley kicked off the scoring 6:32 into the half on a penalty corner putback. Toward the end of the period, Temple failed to convert on a penalty corner, firing a high shot stopped by Duke sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing. The Owls tied the game in the second half when sophomore Amber Youtz notched a goal. Four minutes later Blue Devil sophomore Jessica Buttinger answered with the decisive score, assisted by classmate Martine Chichizola.
“We’re such a good force when everybody’s working together and communicating,” Bustin said.
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