Payne Nets Golden Goal to Lift Duke Past Boston College, 2-1
October 24, 2014
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s soccer team capped its senior day in dramatic fashion, rallying from a 1-0 halftime deficit to pick up the 2-1 overtime win over Boston College Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Toni Payne netted the game-winning goal off a corner kick from freshman Ashton Miller to give the Blue Devils the victory at Koskinen Stadium. Miller assisted on both Duke goals on the day and recorded a career-best six shots.
With the win, Duke moves to 8-8-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the ACC, keeping its hopes of reaching the NCAA postseason alive. The loss drops the Eagles to 10-8 overall and 3-6 in conference matches.
Boston College was able to get on the board first, notching a goal just over 20 minutes into the match. Hayley Dowd got off a pair of shots, the first being saved by Duke redshirt junior goalkeeper Ali Kershner. Dowd’s second shot was blocked and bounced toward the goal line. As the ball was going towards the line, sophomore defender Lizzy Raben tried to clear it away off the line and her attempt went off the post and back into the net resulting in an own goal.
Duke’s offense produced an offensive surge of its own after the Boston College goal. Between the 23:27 and 26:54 marks, the Blue Devils pressured the Eagle’s back line with seven shots, helping the home team to an 11-6 shot advantage in the first half.
Entering the second half down 1-0, the Blue Devils scored the equalizer off the foot of senior Kelly Cobb at the 57:42 mark. The Chugiak, Alaska, native corralled the long pass from Miller and beat two defenders before sending the shot into the top-right corner to make the score 1-1. The goal was the 24th of Cobb’s career and her fifth on the year.
Duke dodged a couple of late Boston College bullets as it hit the post on two different occasions, but the Blue Devils were able to hang on and force overtime.
With the game still tied after the last 30 minutes of regulation, Duke decided to end the match quickly in overtime. Starting with possession, the Blue Devils moved right into Boston College territory and attacked early to set up a corner kick. Miller, who is from Okemos, Mich., stepped up and sent a perfect ball into the box, finding Payne who one-timed it into the right corner to give Duke the 2-1 victory.
“Ashton (Miller) saw the space and I got a little bit of separation and I just went for the ball,” Payne said. “I’m just excited to put my team one step closer to making the tournament.”
This match marked the final contest in Koskinen Stadium for this year’s seven seniors. Cobb, Kershner, Audrey Gibson, Katie Trees, Katy Colas, Anastasia Hunt and Tabria Williford were recognized prior to the match. All of the seniors started the match except for Williford, who is injured.
“I don’t think we had another minute left in us,” head coach Robbie Church said. “There are a lot of tired legs and a lot of mentally tired girls over there. I’m just so happy for our seniors. They’ve done such a great job for us. Not only on the field, but in the classroom and in the community. They’re just great, great ambassadors for our program and university. For them to go out on their last home game winning is great.”
It was fitting that Cobb, one of the top goal scorers in school history, netted a goal in her final match at home. Cobb needs just one goal to move into Duke’s career goals top 10.
“It’s bitter-sweet,” Cobb said. “Obviously it’s such a great win for the team, but it’s really sad and it went so fast. I remember the seniors saying the same thing and now it has happened to me. It’s time to say farewell to Koskinen. It’s been a great career here.”
For the match, Kershner added five saves for the Blue Devils, while Alex Johnson finished with two saves for the Eagles. Both Duke and Boston College finished the game with 16 shots each. After missing the last four matches with injuries, sophomore Rebecca Quinn came off the bench to total three shots.
Duke will wrap up its regular season on the road Halloween night, taking on the Florida State Seminoles at 7:00 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.