Duke women's soccer silences No. 1 Virginia's potent offense in scoreless tie

Brooke Heinsohn held down the fort in goal for Duke.
Brooke Heinsohn held down the fort in goal for Duke.

In a highly anticipated matchup, both No. 1 Virginia and No. 10 Duke knew coming into the match that it would be a game of chess, with each squad attempting to do anything possible to gain the upper hand. 

The Cavaliers and Blue Devils did not disappoint the Klöckner Stadium crowd, as the teams played mistake free soccer, with the Sunday afternoon contest ending in a 0-0 tie in Charlottesville, VA. Duke is the first team to shut out the Virginia offensive juggernaut this season, a Cavalier unit that ranked third in scoring coming into the matchup.  

Blue Devil goalie Brooke Heinsohn spearheaded the Duke defensive effort, tallying five saves on the day. 

“Brooke is a big time goalkeeper," Duke head coach Robbie Church said. "She’s been rock solid for us this year and she has to be because we have some good goalkeeping behind us that really pushed her and, at the end of the day, has really made her better.

"We needed Brooke today. In these types of games, goalkeepers have to save at least one, maybe two, that are goals and bring them back and she was there for us....She’s doing her job and she’s doing it really well.”

Outside of Heinsohn, it was a true all-around effort to quell the potent offensive attack of the Cavaliers (9-0-2, 1-0-2 in the ACC). Few teams have had any success holding Virginia freshman forward Diana Ordenez and senior forward Meghan McCool at bay as they have notched 10 and eight goals, respectively. Coach Church decided to switch up the defensive gameplan of the Blue Devils (6-1-3, 1-0-2) in hopes of throwing a wrench in Virginia’s plans. It appeared to work, as Virginia was held to only five shots on goal.

“We changed a little bit of our formation. We went with five in the back because their flank players are so good….We went with this new formation just like a day and a half [ago],” Church said. 

It is clear that Duke has its sights set on much loftier goals than simply putting up a good fight against a highly-ranked team as Church was not completely satisfied with his team after this one.

“We also have to get better. We gave the ball up too much. We turned it over when we won the ball and we made some bad decisions....We were disappointed we didn’t win, too, because we had some really good chances.”

The road ahead will not be easy for the Blue Devils to capture an ACC title. If they want a high seed going into the tournament, they will have to come up with several big wins, one of which being a vengeance of their earlier defeat against North Carolina. 

Duke will hit the road again next Sunday after an entire week of rest to take on a hungry Virginia Tech team that is looking to snap its two-game skid. With seven games remaining in the regular season—all of which are against ACC foes—look for Duke to be participating in several more of these hard-fought, down-to-the-wire match-ups.

Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity senior and was sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.


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