Sports


Duke spoils Stanford's NCAA women's soccer plans

 

The Duke and Stanford women's soccer teams played magnificently for 110 minutes Friday, and while the NCAA quarterfinal match officially goes down as a 1-1 tie, the Blue Devils advance to the Women's College Cup on the basis of penalty kicks, 3-2.

The Cardinal (19-2-2) outshot Duke, 22-8, overall and 9-6 in shots on goal. What counted, though, was Blue Devils goalkeeper EJ Proctor saving Stanford's last chance.

The contest was full of near misses and missed opportunities.

"It was a competitive game and we had chances to finish," Cardinal coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "Either they would make a big play or we were just unfortunate."

Stanford's Michelle Xiao delivered a corner kick in the 84th minute that Maddie Bauer headed toward the net. It appeared to cross the line, but bounced straight down off the crossbar and was ultimately saved.

"This year has been such an amazing year," Xiao said. "All my teammates are awesome. I grew as a player and I can speak for all the freshmen that we all learned a lot. It was a special year."

The ensuing counter attack drew Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who made five saves, out of the net. Duke had two players open but swift action from Laura Liedle helped clear the ball out of danger.

In the first overtime, both teams got off three shots though the Blue Devils had the better scoring chance when Campbell fumbled a save and needed a couple of grabs to control it.

Duke took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute, taking advantage of a defensive miscommunication. Taylor Racioppi dribbled into the box without being challenged and fired a shot that Campbell knocked down but could not control.

The ball bounced to the foot of Toni Payne, who kicked it into an open net.

Xiao, who entered the game midway through the half, pounded a shot past Duke goalkeeper EJ Proctor, who had eight saves, from long range for the equalizer in the 39th minute.

"I've worked on that before," Xiao said. "I saw a little space so I took it."

The Cardinal outshot the Blue Devils, 8-3, in the first 45 minutes, with Stephanie Amack, who missed the first two games of the playoffs due to injury, and Haley Rosen each getting off good chances.

Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan's steady play allowed the Cardinal to control play for the most part, though Duke was able to create a handful of opportunities.

"It's been a tremendous season," Ratcliffe said. "They all wanted more and they're disappointed now but in a few months they will be able to gain some perspective."

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