DURHAM, N.C. - Facing its second ranked opponent in as many days, the ninth-ranked Duke field hockey team fought hard but ultimately fell 4-2 to No. 11 Northwestern Sunday afternoon at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
Duke (2-3, 0-1 ACC) received goals from senior Mary Nielsen and freshman Sarah Urdahl on the afternoon. The two teams tied in both shots and penalty corners with seven and five, respectively. Northwestern's (5-1, 0-0 Big Ten) Tara Puffenberger and Chelsea Armstrong added a goal and an assist each to lead the Wildcats.
The score stayed knotted at 0-0 throughout the majority of the first half before Northwestern got on the board with just over five minutes to go in the opening period. The Wildcats would add a second goal prior to the intermission as Northwestern took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Wildcats increased their advantage to 4-0 in the second frame before Duke struck in the 65th minute. Nielsen collected the rebound following a Blue Devil corner and beat the Wildcat keeper for her second goal of the season.
Freshman Urdahl earned her first career goal as a Blue Devil while redshirt Devon Gagliardi was credited with the assist on Duke's second tally just over four minutes later. Gagliardi bested her defender in the circle for the shot which was deflected by Urdahl into the goal.
Sunday's game marked the first of seven -straight home contests for the Blue Devils. Duke returns to action Friday, September 1 4, playing host to Richmond at 6 p.m., before challenging No. 5 Old Dominion Sunday, September 16 at 1 p.m.
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