Redshirt senior Lauren Blazing and the Blue Devils put up an impressive defensive stand to weather a relentless Boston College attack Friday and come away with their second conference win of the season.
Sophomore Ainsely Gill's goal lifted No. 4 Duke to a 2-1 win against No. 10 Boston College Friday at the Newton Field Hockey Complex in Newton, Mass., despite falling behind early in the second half after a scoreless first period. Blazing came up big with four key stops in the cage in the second period.
The Blue Devils (9-3, 2-2 in the ACC) were up by a goal with a little over a minute to play when the Eagles pulled their keeper to put an extra player on the offensive. Earning a penalty corner with seconds remaining in regulation, Boston College took two more shots at the goal but Duke’s goalkeeper turned both away.
“We knew what was coming and then had to be able to sustain another attacking corner in our end,” Blue Devil head coach Pam Bustin told GoDuke.com. “Lauren really kept us in the game. She made some key saves and jumped on things that were out in front of the goal cage.”
Blazing and sophomore back Alyssa Chillano led the defensive effort in the first half, holding the Eagles (6-6,0-4) scoreless despite their 7-3 shot advantage. The redshirt senior recorded five saves in the cage and Chillano—the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Week—came up with her fourth defensive stop of the season in the 28th minute.
Boston College did not let up in the second half as twin sisters Emily and Eryn McCoy teamed up for the first score of the game, putting the hosts on the board in the 40th minute. The siblings earned the first goal past Blazing since Delaware scored in the 14th minute of the Sept. 25 matchup at Jack Katz Stadium, ending a shutout streak of 236 minutes. The Blue Devils had blanked both Louisville and Longwood last weekend to wrap up their four-game stint at home.
Duke responded five minutes later on its first penalty corner opportunity of the game when senior Amanda Kim found the back of the cage off a rebound from an initial shot by Stephanie Pezzuti. The goal was Kim's first of the season.
“I’m really proud of how the kids executed on our corners. They were really sharp and really on point,” Bustin said. “I’m happy that they took advantage of the opportunities. We came out a little bit flat, a little bit disconnected…. In the second half we tried to get things going on our attacking half, trying to sustain our attack.”
Senior Aileen Johnson was the lone Blue Devil in the opening period to challenge Eagle goalkeeper Leah Settipane, who leads the conference in saves per game with 6.3 and ranks third in save percentage at .767. But Duke found its rhythm after Kim’s goal.
In the 57th minute, Chillano found Ainsley Gill, who beat Settipane to put Duke ahead for good on her second goal of the season.
Duke outmatched the Eagles in efficiency—six of its eight shots were on goal—even though the home squad took a total of 17 shots. Blazing's eight saves were crucial in one of her best performances all season.
After picking up their fifth consecutive win, Bustin’s squad will face another ranked Massachusetts squad Sunday, taking on No. 17 Boston University at New Balance Field at 1 p.m. seeking to push their hot streak to six games.
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