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Duke women's soccer ties Louisville for its sixth draw of the season

Senior midfielder Ella Stevens scored the first penalty kick of her career Friday, but the Blue Devil defense slipped in the second half.
Senior midfielder Ella Stevens scored the first penalty kick of her career Friday, but the Blue Devil defense slipped in the second half.

Another game. Another tie.

While the Blue Devils have managed to extend their undefeated streak to 12 games with a tie against Louisville, they haven not been able to break through for wins, tying four of their last five contests.

No. 9 Duke headed to Kentucky Friday night to face off against No. 14 Louisville at Lynn Stadium and picked up its most recent draw, this one a 1-1 tie in which the Cardinals outshot the Blue Devils 19 to three.

Duke grabbed an early lead with a well-placed penalty kick by Ella Stevens, but couldn’t keep up its defense forever, eventually falling victim to the onslaught of shots by the Cardinals. While the Blue Devils only let in one goal, that was enough to even out the score and hand them another disappointing draw.

Three statistics that matter

  1. Eight saves by Brooke Heinsohn: When the game is on the line, the Duke goaltender is in her prime. Brooke Heinsohn did it again, staring down another aggressive offense and not faltering when her team needed her. One slip-up could have meant the first ACC loss for Duke, but Heinsohn refused to let that happen.
  2. Louisville outshoots Duke 19-3: In a game that frequently saw the Blue Devils with their backs against the wall, the Cardinals took every opportunity they could get. This led to a massive disparity of shots in the box score. However, one key detail is that while Louisville shot 19 times, only nine of those were shots on goal. Meanwhile, all three of Duke’s shots were on goal, with one of those three getting past Cardinals goalkeeper Gabrielle Kouzelos.
  3. Duke down to one substitute: Injuries have been the plight of Duke this year. It has already claimed both Mia Gyau and Sophie Jones’s seasons and the roster depth has felt their absence. Going into this game, the Blue Devils had just two substitutes, and with Stevens getting injured early in the second half, only one remained. While Stevens' injury is not considered serious—she could potentially be back for Duke’s next matchup—it affects the team’s talent and morale to continue losing players every other game.

Key quotes

Duke head coach Robbie Church on the shot imbalance:

“Shots are shots. They took a lot of 30-yard shots. We’ll let them take those all day. We want people to shoot from distance. You’ll probably see in our last four or five box scores, a lot of teams have many more shots than us, but it’s the quality of shots that we’re taking away from teams. Even the Clemson game where we scored four goals, we didn’t have a great deal of shots. We were just very good and very clean in finishing that day.”

Church on Brooke Heinsohn’s goalkeeping:

“She’s been great. She’s just a calming presence this year behind us. Her experience of last year was really inconsistent, but this year she is so consistent. We know, her teammates know, her coaches know what she's going to give us when she steps out there. She's going to continue to play at a very high level. The maturity and growth in her game [have] come out a lot. She’s become very, very good in the air.… She knows she's going to be an important part of the match and she’s preparing herself and looking forward to that challenge.”

Church on Duke’s repeated ties:

“I think a tie always feels like a loss a little bit. I think there [are] some ties that could feel like a win, but anytime we don’t win a game, we’re disappointed. Our program is at that level. We knew this year would be challenging from all the graduations we’ve had these last two years. The girls have exceeded our expectations at this point.”

Church on Duke’s seeding expectations:

“The question with these ties is, 'What will the NCAA do with these ties?' How will they look at it when we have NCAA seeding?... There [are] no bad ties if you look at the quality of ties that we have. Most of them are top-20 teams in the country and ties against Virginia, who’s No. 1, and North Carolina, who’s No. 3. I’m interested in what the NCAA will do with these ties because there’s so many of them.”

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