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No. 4 Duke fends off Boston College for victory on Senior Night

<p>Senior Erin Scherrer scored on Senior Night for Duke.</p>

Senior Erin Scherrer scored on Senior Night for Duke.

On a brisk evening in October, Duke seniors Erin Scherrer, Caroline Andretta, Rose Tynan, Morgan Bitting and Christy Palazzese played their last field hockey match at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. 

Despite what began to look like an upset on Friday, the seniors secured their last home win.

After a first half that saw No. 11 Boston College get one up on No. 4 Duke, the Blue Devils came out with an intensity that resulted in two second half goals that got them the 2-1 win over their ACC foe. 

“This group of seniors have been awesome,” Duke head coach Pam Bustin said. “They are a fantastic example of coming in as freshmen and building and working on your skill, your own self confidence, and leadership qualities.”

Boston College scored its first goal on a series of corners that came a little before halfway mark in the first half. Duke goalie Sammi Steele swatted away the first shot off the corner to keep the game scoreless, but on the third corner, the Eagles were able to find back of the net after the initial shot was deflected. Lucy Lytle caught the rebound and converted to find the back of the net around the 15th minute of play.

Duke (13-3, 5-1 in the ACC) had a pair of its own back-to-back corners in the first half as well, but was not able to capitalize on them.

The Blue Devils’ best chance at a goal came with two minutes left in the first half. Rose Tynan was fed the ball just a few feet away from the goal, but chipped it over the goalie.

At the end of the first half, Boston College (9-6, 2-4) had double the amount of corners—six to three—and nine shots whereas Duke had four. The eagles controlled much of the momentum of the first half, coming out ready to play against the fourth-ranked team in the nation.

“After the first half, we came inside and talked about how we have to play our Duke game...trusting each other, playing our game, which is just possession passes and a lot of patience” Scherrer said. “I think second half we definitely did a better job of that.”

Within the first five minutes of the second half, the Blue Devils were able to find another opportunity to score, but the Eagles goalie Jonna Kennedy laid out to keep Duke scoreless. Lily Posternak received the ball off a deflection, and took the swing for the goal only to be stopped by Kennedy who sprawled to her left to block the shot.

Seniors Tynan and Andretta supplied another two shots on goal for Duke with around 16 minutes left in the match. Tynan ripped one at the goal, which was deflected by Kennedy. Andretta got the rebound and took another shot to the back of the net, which was deflected once again.

Minutes later, the first Blue Devil goal of the game came courtesy of another senior—Scherrer. Kennedy came out of goal to try and block a shot by Leah Crouse. However, Crouse was able to get the ball past the Eagles goalie to Scherrer, who tapped it into the goal to the sound of Blue Devil fans screaming and cheering in the stands.

“That was mostly one of our freshman—Leah Crouse—that created that opportunity,” Scherrer said. “I just finished it off, but she did most of the work.”

The Blue Devils second goal came inside 10 minutes off a penalty stroke. Crouse had what looked like a goal, with the referee stopping play right before the ball found the back of the net. Haley Schleicher took the penalty stroke for Duke, driving the ball towards the left side where it found the top left corner of the goal after being deflected by the Eagles goalie.

Despite ending the game with 13 shots to Duke’s 11 and 10 corners to Duke’s five, Boston College was not able to hold onto its 1-0 first half lead and lost its chance at the upset. Duke’s seven-shot second half saw two goals that put away the game for the Blue Devils.

Duke will take on its Tobacco Road rival on the road–No. 1 North Carolina—Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We cannot have a first half like we did tonight,” Bustin said. “We have to play our game and come out in the beginning with the energy to execute the game plan. It’s going to be a great test and opportunity for us.”


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