DURHAM, N.C. – After jumping out to early leads the last two matches, the 22nd-ranked Duke women’s soccer team had to come from behind at home on Sunday against 13th-ranked Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils posted a goal in the 74th minute to even the match that concluded in a 1-1 draw at Koskinen Stadium.
With the tie, Duke moves to 4-5-3 overall and 1-3-2 in the ACC, while Virginia Tech goes to 9-2-2, 4-1-1.
“The kids were great [today],” said Duke head coach Robbie Church. “We had such a hard game with Virginia on Thursday night. We put a lot of energy and effort into that game. We are really committed right now and it is the best it has been all year. We are getting better, battling. We had some quality chances – this is a just a great team. Virginia Tech is 9-1-2 and lost only one game all year. I couldn’t be prouder right now.”
In the first half, neither team featured any excellent scoring chances with the Blue Devils holding an 11-7 advantage in shots. Duke’s best opportunity came in the 34th minute as the Blue Devils were awarded a direct kick from outside the box. Senior Mollie Pathman, who is a senior from Durham, N.C., stepped up and fired a shot that went off the Virginia Tech wall and just missed going into the left corner of the net, but went wide.
In the 59th minute, freshman Christina Gibbons made a great run down the left side of the pitch and came into the box as she fired a shot that Hokie goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts made a diving stop to her left for the save.
Virginia Tech used some good passing in the 67th minute to get on the board as Ashley Meier one-timed her seventh tally of the season to give the Hokies a 1-0 lead.
After coming out of the match early in the second half with an ankle injury, junior Kelly Cobb registered the equalizer at the 73:57 mark; off assists from Gibbons and senior Laura Weinberg. A product of Chugiak, Alaska, Cobb took a couple of touches and blasted in her third goal of the season into the top right corner from 22 yards away.
“Laura Weinberg made a beautiful cross,” said Cobb. “I touched it with my right foot and luckily blasted it into the net. It hopefully turned the momentum around a little bit.”
Duke added three shots at the end of the second period, but could not get the game-winner. At the end of regulation, Duke held a 17-11 edge in shots led by Cobb’s four attempts.
Virginia Tech took the first two shots of overtime, but Duke attempted the final two as time came to a close. Cobb fired a left-footed attempt that was saved by a Hokie defender, followed by a second that went wide left.
The Blue Devils featured a great chance as time was winding down in the second overtime, but a header by Kerr went just wide right.
At the end of the 110 minutes, Duke outshot Virginia Tech, 21-14, with Cobb leading the Blue Devils with six, while Kerr added three attempts.
Redshirt sophomore Ali Kershner played all 110 minutes in goal and finished with three saves. Colpitts added three saves in the net for the Hokies.
“We are a little short on points and we need those points,” commented Church. “We will turn the calendar – September will turn to October and I believe October will be a really good month for us.”
Duke will next travel to Boston College to take on the Eagles on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1:00 p.m.
Notes: • With her 94 career points, Laura Weinberg is only one point away from moving into a tie for second all-time at Duke. • Laura Weinberg notched her team-best four assist of the season to give her 22 on her career. That moved her into a tie for fifth on Duke’s assist charts.