DURHAM, N.C. – For the fourth time out of the last five years, No. 1 seeded and third-ranked Duke has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament as the Blue Devils downed Georgia 3-1 on Friday evening at Koskinen Stadium in front of 3,000 fans in Durham, N.C.
Georgia started the match on the attack as the Bulldogs attempted the first two shots before Duke took its first attempt in the 17th minute off the leg of sophomore Kaitlyn Kerr. The Blue Devils wouldn’t look back attempting three more shots before taking a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute on an own goal by Georgia.
Kerr served the ball to redshirt senior Molly Lester on the right side. Lester, who is out of Atlanta, Ga., crossed it into the box where redshirt sophomore Kim DeCesare was there but the ball hit off a Bulldog defender and went in the goal.
At the end of the first half, Duke held a 7-3 advantage in shots.
The Blue Devils continued to attack the Georgia goal in the second half, including three shots by sophomore Laura Weinberg in the first 17 minutes of the stanza. A product of Boca Raton, Fla., Weinberg finally got her goal in the 68th minute though.
Sophomore Mollie Pathman made an excellent run down the left side and used her left foot to cross the ball into the box where Weinberg was waiting near the back post and headed in her eighth goal of the season. A native of Durham, N.C., Pathman now owns a team-best 10 assists on the year. Her 10 assists ranks tied for the sixth-most in a single season at Duke.
Less than eight minutes later, Kerr added her third tally of the 2011 NCAA tournament as Lester and Cobb found Kerr at the top of the box and beat the Bulldog goalkeeper. Kerr, who is out of Bensalem, Pa., totaled her ninth goal of the season. She also has four goals in six career NCAA tournament matches.
Georgia added a late tally by Nicole Locandro in the 81st minute to break the Duke shutout.
For the match, Duke outshot Georgia, 21-7. Weinberg attempted a career-high seven shots for the game, while Kerr added four for the Blue Devils. Five of Weinberg’s seven shots were on goal.
In goal for Duke, junior Tara Campbell notched five saves over 90 minutes. Georgia goalkeeper Ashley Baker added nine saves for the Bulldogs.
Duke improved to 12-0-1 overall on the season at home and 7-0 at Koskinen Stadium all-time in NCAA play.