No. 4 Boston College Downs Duke for ACC Victory
In-Game Blog Replay
DURHAM, N.C. -- In a must-win ACC game for both
teams, No. 4 Boston College emerged victorious, 13-11, on
Duke’s Senior Day, to earn its first league victory since
February. Boston College had lost its previous three league
games to No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Syracuse by
a combined four goals.
Boston College came into this game ranked fifth in the ACC below Duke, but the win ties both teams at 2-3 in the conference.
The first half of the game was a back and forth affair, with both teams answering a goal with a goal. Duke’s only lead of the game came off a dodge by Katie Trees, but was followed by a five-goal run by the Eagles. Impressively, the Blue Devils went on a run of their own to tie it up again at eight, until Sarah Mannelly buried one for BC with 12 seconds left in the half to give the Eagles a 9-8 lead at the break.
As expected, Covie Stanwick set the pace behind the goal and she and Mannelly notched five goals apiece for the Eagles. Kelsey Smesko’s four goals on four shots helped keep the Blue Devils within reach, but they could not close the gap in the second half.
Difficulty on the draw forced Boston College to rely on their defense to gain possession. Aided by an unusual number of draw violations by BC, Duke dominated the draw control category 13-5 in the first half.
Boston College coach Acacia Walker, was not pleased heading into halftime.
“It was the first time I didn’t really say
much,” said Walker. “We were getting crushed in the
first half and I just put the numbers up on the board and said,
‘that’s it’, and left. So, that was kind of
the message. Draw controls are everything.”
That message seemed to get through to the Eagles, who won that category 6-2 in the second half and continued to dominate the ground ball category.
“We were really trying to stick to what our strengths are, doing what we do on defense and not getting crazy checking or out of body positioning,” said Walker.
The same was not true for the Blue Devils, whose defensive woes continued and fouling was a major problem. They out-fouled the Eagles 31-12, with two yellow cards, resulting in nine free position shots and six goals for BC.
“I was happy with our performance on the draw and I thought, offensively, we were pretty efficient. But, I think defensively, we are not playing well right now,” said Duke coach Kerstin Kimel. “We didn’t play well at Syracuse and I don’t really know why. But, we’ve got to do a little soul searching this next week and figure it out.”
The Blue Devils will need to be at the top of their game as they head into the last two games of their regular season against Notre Dame on April 11th, followed by a matchup against the defending national champion North Carolina. Boston College takes on Virginia in Charlottesville on Thursday.
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