NEWTON, Mass. – Facing a 2-0 deficit at halftime, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils rallied to tie the score with 3:17 remaining but went on to fall 3-2 in overtime to top-ranked Maryland Friday in the ACC Championship semifinals.
The Terrapins (19-1, 6-0 ACC) move on the ACC title match while Duke (14-6, 3-3 ACC) will await the selections for the 2013 NCAA Tournament field, which will be announced Sunday, Nov. 10 at 10 p.m. on www.ncaa.com.
After starting the second period with aggressive attacking up front, the Blue Devils cut the lead in half with 16:05 remaining on a shot from the post by junior midfielder Abby Beltrani. Senior midfielder Grace Christus was credited with the assist on the play, her second of the season.
Backed by strong play on the defensive end – including multiple diving stops by redshirt sophomore Lauren Blazing in goal – the Duke offense kept pressing and earned its first penalty corner opportunity of the game in the 60th minute. Sophomore Hannah Barreca knocked in the equalizer on a penalty corner hit with just over three minutes left on the clock for her third goal of the year. Beltrani and senior Emmie Le Marchand collected their ninth and 10th assists, respectively, on the play.
Neither side scored the rest of the way in regulation, sending the match into overtime. Maryland’s Maxine Fluharty tallied the gamewinner less than four minutes into extra time to seal the semifinal victory for the Terrapins.
In the first half, Duke staved off Maryland on the first penalty corner of the contest but gave up a goal at the in the 10th minute when Alyssa Parker tipped in a rebound for the early lead.
The match pressed on through heavy rain and wind over the next few minutes while the Blue Devils tried to maintain possession and push upfield. Christus put a ball on cage midway through the period but had her shot stopped by the Terrapins’ goalkeeper Natalie Hunter.
Meanwhile Maryland continued to fire at Blazing in goal, logging a 12-2 advantage in shots in the first 35 minutes. The top-seeded team went up by two at the 11:54 mark after an initial save by Blazing was put back for a goal by Emma Rissinger.
Le Marchand had an opportunity inside the shooting circle within the final five minutes of the half but was unable to get past Hunter, and Duke went into the intermission trailing, 2-0.
For the game, the Terrapins led in penalty corners 5-2 and held a 21-7 advantage in shots, though the shot margin was just 7-5 in Maryland’s favor during the second half. Blazing totaled 12 stops for the Blue Devils, reaching double figures in the saves column for the third time this fall.