DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It took not one but two overtime periods however, the Duke women’s soccer team came back to take down Arizona State 2-1 Saturday to advance to the third round of the NCAA playoffs.
“I know I’m too old for this,” joked head coach Robbie Church. “I’ve got more gray hair and less probably after that one, too.”
Despite not having played in three weeks the Blue Devils looked rested rather than rusty. They took the 1-0 lead just over 28 minutes into the game when Delaney Graham sent a picture-perfect pass over the middle to Tess Boade who was right there to blast it home.
“Fifteen minutes into it I feel like we got really ahold of the game. Early in the match we didn’t have really long buildups. We didn’t keep the ball much. We would win it then turn it over to them and they would turn it over to us,” said Church. “Once we had more patience and better buildup and longer buildup — man what a goal by Tess, great service by Delaney (Graham).”
Ruthie Jones kept Arizona State at bay stopping everything. The only blemish on her record came with just over 3 minutes to play when Eva Van Deursen lofted one on the net that ricocheted off the crossbar and straight down on the goal line.
Nicole Douglas headed home the equalizer. It was make or break at that point. A late goal like that can deflate some teams but it only served to inspire the Blue Devils.
“We were upset when we came off at the end of the game,” said Church. “We had to get our composure back. I told them that we have to drop it, we have to think about the next play. It’s 1-1 – the next goal wins this match — and we couldn’t spend energy thinking about what we just gave up. We had to go forward, and I thought they did a really good job of that and came out in both overtime periods and created opportunities.”
Each side held the other scoreless through the first overtime. In the second, Duke senior Tess Boade pushed the ball deep into Arizona State’s end then dropped it back to freshman Maggie Graham who sent a sweet pass to the far side where Sophie Jones was waiting on the backside of the goal to blast it home and send the Blue Devils through to the next round.
“When Tess passed it back to Maggie, that’s something we’ve been working on, so I knew when Maggie had the ball that she was going to try and play it back post,” said Jones. “She played a great ball and I just got my foot on it.”
The Blue Devils will face Ole Miss at noon on Wednesday.