Nov. 30, 2008

Courtesy Duke University

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second straight year, the Duke women's soccer team's season has come to a close in the NCAA College Cup Elite Eight as the 15th-ranked and third-seeded Blue Devils fell, 6-1, at second-ranked and top-seeded UCLA at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Blue Devils saw their season conclude with a 15-6-3 overall and 4-3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) record. UCLA improved to 22-0-2 overall and will next face North Carolina in the NCAA College Cup semifinals in Cary, N.C., on Friday, Dec. 5.

UCLA kicked off the game on the attack with two shots over the first four minutes and then the Bruins capitalized off a corner kick to take a 1-0 lead at the 4:27 mark. Lauren Barnes sent a corner into the box where Kylie Wright found McCall Zerboni on the left side, who one-timed the ball into the right corner of the net. The goal for Zerboni was her seventh of the season.

The Bruins added two more shots in the fifth and seventh minutes off the legs of Kara Lang and Kristina Larsen, which were both saved by Blue Devil senior goalkeeper Cassidy Powers.

Duke remained calm and capitalized on a goal of its own at the 14:17 mark as sophomore Gretchen Miller fired a ball down the left side of the field to senior Lorraine Quinn. A product of Farmingdale, N.Y., Quinn beat a defender and sent a perfect cross to the head of junior KayAnne Gummersall, who found the back of the net for her team-best 15th goal of the season.

A native of Wilmette, Ill., Gummserall scored for the fourth straight match and her 15 goals on the year now ranks tied for third on Duke's single-season goals list. The goal for the Blue Devils broke a four-game shutout streak for UCLA and marked only the fifth goal this season the Bruins have allowed. The Bruins had only allowed one goal all season in the first half.

UCLA came right back on the attack with five straight shots that were all saved by Powers, but the Bruins once again used their corner kick to their advantage as Lauren Wilmoth sent a perfect ball inside the box, which slipped off the head of Lauren Cheney for her 11th goal of the season at the 17:50 mark, for a 2-1 lead.

Blue Devil junior Elisabeth Redmond attempted Duke's second shot of the match in the 18th minute, but went wide. The UCLA powerful offense didn't slow down attempting four more shots before Gummersall attempted Duke's third shot of the first half, which went wide left in the 35th minute.

As the first half was coming to a close, UCLA's Christina DiMartino played a beautiful give-and-go with Caitlyn Mac Kechnie and was able to use her right foot to bend a remarkable shot that hit the top of the net to put the Bruins ahead, 3-1, at the 43:51 mark.

The first half ended with UCLA holding a 16-3 shot advantage and Powers matching a career-high 10 saves. Duke's three goals allowed in the first half was a season high. UCLA picked up where it left off in the second half as the Bruins attempted the first three shots of the period and on the third shot by Whitney Sharpe Duke defender Meaghan FitzGerald registered a block as the ball was heading in the goal. Off the block, the ball settled to Larsen who blasted it just above the leaping Powers to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead in the 58th minute.

Less than three minutes later, the Bruins added another goal on a breakaway by Larsen to make the score 5-1 in favor of UCLA.

Blue Devil senior Kelly Hathorn drew a foul just outside of the UCLA box at the 62:20 mark and Redmond's shot attempt sailed just over the crossbar for Duke's fourth shot of the match. Hathorn added her first shot of the match three minutes later, which was saved by UCLA goalkeeper Ashley Thompson.

UCLA's Dana Wall added another goal in the 71st minute to make the score, 6-1. Hathorn came back to register an excellent scoring opportunity a minute later but her attempt was saved by Thompson.

For the match, UCLA outshot Duke, 27-7. Powers finished with a career-high 13 saves to give her 83 for the season, which is tied for sixth on the Blue Devil career list. Powers, who is from San Ramon, Calif., totaled a very successful season with a school record-tying nine shutouts.

The careers of six Blue Devil seniors -- Powers, Hathorn, Quinn, Christie McDonald, Kelly McCann and Sheila Kramer -- came to a close on the evening. The six student-athletes guided Duke to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, 48 wins, two NCAA College Cup Elite Eight appearances and 18 ACC victories.

Duke will return seven starters including leading scorers Gummersall and Redmond, who combined for 27 goals and eight assists in 2008.