UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After battling through 110 minutes of action in front of 4,207 fans at fourth-ranked Penn State, the 21st-ranked Duke women’s soccer team collected a 0-0 draw at Jeffrey Field Friday evening on the road to remain unbeaten.
The Blue Devils moved to 2-0-1 overall, while Penn State is also 2-0-1 after three matches.
“I thought we played really well,” said Duke head coach Robbie Church. “What a great atmosphere it was here tonight. It was one of the toughest places that we have been in my 15 years at Duke. We have a young squad. It was our first time in this type of environment. This is a win-win game for everybody. We are going to grow and get better from this game. I thought at times we played really, really well. At times we got away from what we wanted to do. It is a fair result. Every time we step on the field we are looking for a win.”
Penn State came out attacking early and often attempting six out of the first seven shots. In the 18th minute, Mallory Weber got outside a Duke defender and blasted a shot off the right post and bounced across the box. PSU’s Charlotte Williams found the ball at her feet and just missed outside the left post to keep the score knotted, 0-0.
Then in the 26th minute, Williams fired another shot but a Duke defender headed away the attempt.
The Nittany Lions kept peppering the Duke goal the entire first half and went on to outshoot the Blue Devils, 10-3. Duke never really got much offense going as freshman Taylor Racioppi attempted two shots, while senior Kara Wilson added one attempt.
After having only three shots in the first half, the Blue Devils opened the first two minutes of the second stanza with three shots in less than two minutes as Racioppi had one blocked and junior Toni Payne added two.
One of the best scoring chances by both teams came off a Penn State free kick at the 62:35 mark. Emily Ogle fired a shot that went over the head of Proctor, but the 5-8 sophomore from Wilson, N.C., was able to get a hand up and redirect the ball off the crossbar, before Imani Dorsey cleared it away.
Led by a great run down the left side of the pitch, junior tri-captain Christina Gibbons fought hard into the box and sent a perfect service to freshman Kayla McCoy, whose right-footed attempt went high over the crossbar to keep the score tied, 0-0, in the 78th minute. It was Duke’s best scoring chance of the match and a shot that McCoy normally finishes into the right corner.
Both teams battled the final 12 minutes of the second half but neither team could get anything past their defense.
Behind a 9-5 shot advantage for the Blue Devils in the second half, Duke cut the shot lead to 15-12 in favor of Penn State entering overtime. Proctor finished 90 minutes of play with a career-high nine saves.
In the first overtime, Racioppi made an impressive move and went to her left on her way to firing a shot towards the left post, but Nittany Lion keeper Britt Eckerstrom made a diving stop to her right in the 93rd minute. Megan Schafer added a shot high for Penn State almost two minutes later.
The Blue Devils were able to hold strong on defense as time winded down in the first overtime on their way to a second overtime. The shots entered the final period with Penn State holding a 17-13 lead.
Williams had a golden chance at the top of the box in 102nd minute, but her right-footed attempt sailed wide right off the side of her foot. Penn State would send three more shots at the Duke goal, but the Blue Devils were able to hold onto their third shutout of the season.
Proctor finished the match with a career-high 11 saves and netted her first collegiate shutout over the 110 minutes. The 11 saves are tied for the 10th most in a single game at Duke.
“Penn State is a very good team,” commented Proctor. “They press forward a lot. I think we handled the pressure well for not playing a team (yet) that does that. I thought it was a good result.”
Penn State finished the match with a 21-14 shot advantage. The foursome of Racioppi (5), Payne (4), Wilson (3) and Cassie Pecht (1) attempted all of Duke’s shots.
“I am very, very proud of the girls,” said Church. “I thought everybody worked really hard. Players on the field; players that didn’t get in were so supportive of their teammates to. We have to start recovery right now, head back and get ready for a very good William & Mary team.”
Duke will next host 25th-ranked William & Mary in the Blue Devils’ home opener Sunday, Aug. 30 at 6:00 p.m.