No. 15 Duke women's soccer secures first ACC win of season behind Lageyre's account-opening brace

Carina Lageyre controls the ball during Duke's victory against East Carolina.
Carina Lageyre controls the ball during Duke's victory against East Carolina.

Two minutes and 51 seconds.

That’s all it took for the Blue Devils to make an indelible mark on their first ACC game of the season. The hero who struck the quick and lethal blow, however, did not have ‘Rader’ spelled across her back like fans might expect. This time, another Floridian stepped up, teaching the opponent a valuable lesson: there’s something about the Sunshine State.

No. 15 Duke traveled to Chestnut Hill, Mass., Sunday to take on Boston College, where they forced the Eagles to flee the nest in a 2-0 victory. Leading the charge was sophomore Carina Lageyre, who notched both of the Blue Devils’ tallies to start the team off on the right foot in their conference slate.

“I think it may be our best performance from the first minute to the 90th minute,” said head coach Robbie Church. “I felt that we put the work in, we put the effort in and we completely dominated this game from start to finish.”

In just under three minutes, Duke (5-2, 1-0 in the ACC) made its statement in historic fashion. The Blue Devils were knocking on Boston College’s door from the opening whistle with two shots fired in quick succession. Sophomore phenom Kat Rader nearly drew first blood after cutting past her defender on the right corner of the six-yard box and slicing the ball toward the left post, where it just barely missed its mark. 51 seconds later, Duke found its mark.

Senior Grace Watkins kicked things off, deftly controlling a pass from the Blue Devil back line out to the right flank. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., showcased her blazing speed, driving toward the middle of the field and leaving several Eagles in the dust before releasing a cross into the 18-yard box. It found Boston College defender Sarai Costello instead, but the junior trapped the bouncing ball right into the waiting feet of Lageyre. 

The Cooper City, Fla., native took advantage, pushing it past the Eagles’ center back before rocketing a shot to the upper left corner of the net. Not only was it Duke’s fastest goal of the season, but it was also the first tally of the sophomore’s career.

“I saw Grace … [and] I know she has great vision and can play that pass, so I made that run,” Lageyre said. “We have a great connection, so I just really wanted to get on the end of the pass and [for the] shot to be clinical.”

Most players would be happy with one goal on the day, but the midfielder was hungry for more. Her golden, albeit unconventional opportunity came in the 32nd minute. Senior defender Nicky Chico intercepted a Boston College pass in the midfield before sending a pass to the top of the box for freshman Mia Minestrella. The rookie tripped over the ball, a second goal seemingly lost to the wind.

But Lageyre came to the rescue once more. She stepped up and drove the shot home, firing it past the diving keeper to the lower right corner. After several injury frustrations during her freshman campaign, the Floridian is coming back to Durham with her first two career goals and a brace in her back pocket.

“What a great performance Carina had,” Church said. “Wherever we put her, she was a dominating player on the field.”

While the second half kept the scoreboard quiet, a battle was still raging on the pitch. The Eagles (3-4-2, 0-1) started to look more threatening with long-range balls and attacking drives, lightly rapping on the scoring door. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, had several near-miss opportunities that were mere inches from finding the back of the net. 

Boston College, however, nearly changed the momentum of the game with just under 20 minutes to play. After deftly evading several Duke defenders, junior Aislin Streicek fired a rocket to the bottom right post that was inches from putting a damper on the Blue Devil party. Senior keeper Leah Freeman did not flinch, diving to push the ball out of bounds and neutralize the threat.

“Leah was very good in goal,” Church said. “If that [ball] goes in, it’s 2-1 and the whole momentum changes.”

Returning to Durham having achieved a 19-3 shot differential and a name other than Rader on the score sheet, Duke must now set its sights on bigger and badder opponents in the ACC. The Blue Devils take on No. 13 Notre Dame Thursday before tackling N.C. State Sunday evening.

Mackenzie Sheehy profile
Mackenzie Sheehy | Blue Zone editor

Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


Share and discuss “No. 15 Duke women's soccer secures first ACC win of season behind Lageyre's account-opening brace” on social media.