DURHAM, N.C. – It was a thriller Saturday night at Koskinen Stadium, as Duke sophomore Marykate McGuire scored a goal in the 99th minute to lead the 10th-ranked Blue Devils to a 3-2 overtime victory over No. 19 Santa Clara.
Duke improves to 2-1-1 on the season, while Santa Clara falls to 1-3 on the early campaign. The matchup marked the Blue Devils’ third consecutive top 20 matchup in a span of six days.
“What a big time win for us,” said head coach Robbie Church. “This is quite a stretch when you have Carolina, Georgetown, Santa Clara, three top-20 teams in the country and two final four teams from last year in just a span of six days. I could not have been any prouder, could not have been any prouder for us. We struggled obviously scoring goals and we struggled creating opportunities, but today we did both.”
After a scoreless first half of action, the two teams embarked on an action-packed second half that featured 17 combined shots and a pair of goals from each team.
“We created opportunities,” added Church. “We go down a goal, we pedal back, get two, give up a heartbreaking set play goal at the end with a minute-forty left, a lot of teams would have folded during that time, and then we come back from that to find a winning goal in overtime against this team is absolutely unbelievable. I’m just extremely proud of them.”
Santa Clara struck first in the contest with a goal that came in the 55th minute. Izzy D’Aquila connected on a header in the right side of the box that sailed past the outstretched hands of redshirt junior Brooke Heinsohn to put the Broncos ahead 1-0.
The Blue Devils did not take long to respond, as Mackenzie Pluck evened things at the 60:30 mark of play. The sophomore midfielder drove the final-third on the left side of the pitch and fired off a shot that deflected off the Santa Clara keeper into the goal for her first score of the season, knotting the score at one apiece.
Duke moved ahead in the 72nd minute, as Ella Stevens registered her second goal of the season. The senior connected on a cross from McGuire to give the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead with under 20 minutes left in regulation.
The Broncos broke through for the equalizer in the 89th minute, as D’Aquila posted her second goal of the evening to tie the score at two apiece, sending the game into overtime.
The Blue Devils recorded two shot attempts in the overtime period, as McGuire cashed in on the second attempt thanks to an assist from Pluck to seal the victory.
Heinsohn closed out the contest with a season-high seven saves, facing a total of 15 shots from Santa Clara.
Following Saturday’s contest, the Blue Devils are set to continue their six-game homestand next weekend. The Blue Devils host the 2019 Duke Nike Classic, which will include the trio of North Carolina, UNLV and LSU.
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