CofC falls to 4-4-0 on the season. Duke, with the No. 5 ranking according to the National Soccer Coaches of Association of America, improves to 8-1-0.
The Cougars were a better team in the second half and did a better job in thwarting the Blue Devils' heavy attack.
"I think in the first half we came out a little timid and in this game it's the simple things," said head coach Christian Michner. "When you don't do the simple things well you'll pay for it. Duke is a phenomenal team both on and off the ball but I think in the first half we showed them a little too much respect. We sorted it out at halftime and the kids came out on fire and we showed them in the second 45 minutes that we belong on the field with Duke."
The Blue Devils' first goal of the game came in the fifth minute of the match. After the Cougars had pushed the ball into Duke's defensive third of the field, the Blue Devils were able to counter and get behind CofC's back line in the opposite end. Mollie Pathman was able to connect with a Kelly Cobb who was streaking through the box and tucked the ball into the back of the net.
Dukes' next pair of goals came after corner kicks with the first was sent into the box by Gilda Doria and Natasha Anasi heading it home on the other end and the second was set up by Audrey Gibson and finished by Kim DeCesare.
The Cougars now have the weekend off before returning home to open the Southern Conference portion of their schedule with a weekend slate against Appalachian State and Western Carolina. The Cougars host the Mountaineers on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. and the Catamounts on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. at Patriots Point.
"I think we put together a really difficult non-conference schedule and that's what we want to do to prepare for the rigors of our conference which starts next week," said Michner. "We'll take the next nine days to slowly but surely prepare for Appalachian State and Western Carolina.
"It's certainly going to be a difficult conference season but we think we've got the talent in our team to get it done. We'll take it one step at a time and I think the second 45 minutes was a great step tonight. If we can continue to progress over the next five weeks we'll put ourselves in a position to win."