DURHAM, N.C.—Five different Blue Devils tallied goals to lead Duke to a 5-0 win over James Madison in NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship First Round action tonight at Koskinen Stadium. Duke advances to play the winner between South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.
The Blue Devils improve to 11-5-4 overall and moves to 27-18-8 in NCAA Tournament action. The five goals scored by the Blue Devils are tied for the second most by a Duke team in NCAA Tournament action.
Scoring goals for the Blue Devils were Imani Dorsey, Taylor Racioppi, Christina Gibbons, Kayla McCoy and Toni Payne. Racioppi, McCoy and Payne all finished with a goal and an assist in the win.
“I’m very excited for and very proud of this group,” said head coach Robbie Church. “I’m very confident in this group. We can make a really long run here.”
Duke, controlling the run of play early, got on the board just 6:16 into the game when Taylor Racioppi found Imani Dorsey wide open on the left flank. With an abundance of time with the ball at her feet, Dorsey took a few dribbles and froze the James Madison goalie in her tracks with a shot to the right side netting.
“We knew if we just stayed with and didn’t get frustrated, the goals are coming,” Church said. “During the course of the year we had 30 shots and one goal. When you come here in the NCAA Tournament you’re not going to get as many opportunities, but you got to be ready for the opportunities.”
Just under 20 minutes later it was Racioppi on the receiving end of a fantastic through ball out of the midfield from Kayla McCoy. On stride, Racioppi’s first touch took her behind the defense and she beat Dukes goalkeeper Ellen Forrest for the 2-0 lead. Christina Gibbons made it 3-0 in the 37th minute with a penalty kick.
EJ Proctor, posting her ninth shutout of the season, finished with three saves, including an excellent diving save in the first half to push a shot over the bar. Duke allowed just two shots in the second half and none on goal en route to the 12th shutout of the year.
“We’ve been so good defensively all year,” Church said. “I thought we defended better in the second half. In the NCAA Tournament you have to win defensively so that’s something that we’ll really work on.”
McCoy notched her team-leading seventh goal of the year just 1:31 into the second half on a pass from Toni Payne. Ten minutes later it was Payne’s chance to get on the board as she took a Casey Martinez service and beat
Forrest to put the Blue Devils up 5-0. Christina Gibbons started the play with an excellent long ball out of the back to relieve the James Madison pressure on the Blue Devils’ backline.
“We got some really quality services from the flanks and really good runs in the box,” said head coach Robbie Church. “I think we’re timing our runs and we’re meeting the ball well. We’re so much more composed.”
Duke’s next game against either South Florida or Florida Gulf Coast will be Nov. 20. The Blue Devils will travel to Gainesville if the Gators advance out of their first-round contest against Western Michigan.