For the second time this year, Duke entered a matchup with Boston College as the clear favorite. And for the second time this year, it took everything the Blue Devils had to prevent another shocking upset by the Eagles.
Second-seeded Duke took down seventh-seeded Boston College 3-2 in overtime Thursday afternoon at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky., to advance to the semifinals of the ACC tournament. The Blue Devils escaped with their second overtime win against the Eagles this season on a quick goal from sophomore Margaux Paolino four minutes into the extra period.
“Boston College is a great team who brings a lot of energy and put a lot of pressure on us,” Duke head coach Pam Bustin told GoDuke.com. “They wanted this game and we knew that. I’m really pleased with the way we played. I thought we stayed pretty connected. I think we just have to maintain our composure in different pockets of the game. They changed some things up and I thought we did a good job of countering that.”
The second meeting between these teams began nearly identically to the first, with a goal from junior Rose Tynan off an assist from Ainsley Gill. Tynan, the team’s leading scorer, redirected a tipped pass and beat Boston College goalkeeper Sarah Dwyer to give the Blue Devils an early lead.
Five minutes later, Tynan scored again for Duke to double the lead after a cross from Ashley Kristen right in front of the goal. Kristen, one of six seniors on the team, finished the season second on the team in assists and moved up to 15th all-time in total points in the school record books after the regular-season finale.
“That’s the kind of spark we’ve been working on,” Bustin said of Tynan’s two early scores. “Right out of the gate, sustain it, continue to have that movement on the forward line. We did fall back on that a little bit where we need to keep creating those opportunities.”
The Blue Devils (16-2) were dominant for the rest of the half, holding the Eagles to only two shots in the period, neither of which were on goal. However, Duke struggled on offense as well after Tynan’s first goal just more than eight minutes into the game and entered the half leading 2-0.
Unlike in their first meeting, a back and forth affair that saw the two teams trading goals throughout the game, the second match was a tale of two halves. Boston College (11-8) came out attacking in the second period, and their pressure finally paid off 13 minutes into the half when Maddy Dom took a Caroline McGovern feed from the middle of the field and knocked it past Duke goalkeeper Sammi Steele off the right post for the Eagles' first goal of the game.
The Blue Devils preserved their lead for the next 20 minutes, as Steele made one of her two saves in the game. But they couldn’t quite hold off the Boston College until the end, and with just more than two minutes remaining in the game, the Eagles struck again to tie it and send the two teams to overtime. Carly Kauffman, who tallied just three goals in the regular season, scored the equalizer on a clean, unassisted shot from the top of the circle.
In overtime, however, Duke regained its composure and made quick work of its opponent, which could not put together one more challenge in the upset bid. The Blue Devils held Boston College without a shot in overtime while putting two on goal themselves, the second of which sent the Eagles home and Duke into the next round.
After drawing a corner nearly four minutes into overtime, senior Allysa Chillano’s initial shot was knocked away in the direction of Paolino. The Villanova, Pa., native laid out and knocked the ball past Dwyer to seal the Blue Devils’ escape.
Duke will face just as strong a challenge in the semifinals, where it will meet third-seeded host Louisville, which knocked out Syracuse with a 3-2 win on its home field Thursday. The semifinal game will be Friday afternoon at 2:30 at Trager Stadium.
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