Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Duke Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Trailing 1-0 with 19 minutes remaining in the contest, the Duke women's soccer team netted two goals in less than a minute to knock off California, 2-1, Friday evening in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Freshman Kaitlyn Kerr tallied Duke's first score, while classmate Laura Weinberg recorded the game-winner 32 seconds later.

Duke, which advances to the NCAA Second Round with the win, improves to 11-7-3 on the season, while Cal falls to 9-6-5 overall.

"It was a strange game," head coach Robbie Church said. "To concede a goal with eight seconds left [in the first half] and come back and win the game is unbelievable. We showed the character of this team. It's a 45-minute game, and you have to play 45 minutes, but I'm just very, very happy with this group."

Despite the outcome, it was Cal who struck first to take a 1-0 advantage. The Golden Bears owned a 7-1 shot advantage in the first half, but the score remained tied at 0-0 until a Cal tally with eight seconds to go in the period. California broke the scoreless stalemate as Alex Morgan found Betsey Hassett open on the left side. Hassett slipped the ball past charging Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell to find the bottom right corner of the net. The goal was only the seventh first-half score Duke has allowed in 2010.

"We absolutely got played off the field in the first half," added Church. "We were a little nervous. We were scared. We panicked with our passes; it didn't look like us."

After a tough first half, Duke turned the tables in the second frame as the Blue Devils outshot the Golden Bears, 7-3, for the stanza. The offensive pressure paid off as Duke was awarded a free kick at the 70:52 mark. Redshirt sophomore Ashley Rape drilled the ball into the box and connected with Kerr, whose header from 10 yards out knotted the score at one-all. Kerr, who is a product of Bensalem, Pa., totaled her fourth goal of the season with the tally.

"We possessed the ball in the second half," said Church. "We played much quicker we changed the point of attack we were much more aggressive in our touches and our mindset of going forward."

The Blue Devils struck again a mere 32 seconds later for what proved to be the game-winner. Weinberg, assisted by freshman Gilda Doria, turned and netted the goal from five yards out. Duke's two goals in 32 seconds is the quickest the Blue Devils have notched two goals this season, while Weinberg's goal was her 10th of the season, matching Sarah Friend's Duke freshman record set in 1989.

Cal would come close to tying the game in the 77th minute as the Golden Bears' Emily Shibata fired a shot from outside the box, but Campbell tipped the ball harmlessly over the crossbar. Campbell, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, ended the game with three saves to register the win.

For the match, Duke was outshot, 10-8, for the match but the Blue Devils held a 7-3 advantage in the second stanza.

Next up, the Blue Devils will take on host-team Florida Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.