DURHAM — Fifth-ranked Duke didnt make it easy on itself Sunday. The Blue Devils rallied from a halftime deficit on Kim DeCesares 11th goal of the season to pull out a 1-1 tie against 12th-ranked Wake Forest at Koskinen Stadium and extend its unbeaten streak to four games.
More importantly, with one regular-season ACC game remaining, the Blue Devils (11-3-2, 5-2-2 ACC) maintained their hold on third place in the conference standings. Wake Forest (10-3-3, 4-2-1) moved into a fourth-place tie with Virginia but has a game in hand. The top four seeds receive quarterfinal home games in the eight-team ACC tournament beginning Oct. 28.
Sundays result left both coaches wanting more.
We probably deserved a little bit more than we got out of here, Duke coach Robbie Church said. It is frustrating to get a tie out of this game because I thought we could have gotten more.
Wake coach Tony da Luz echoed those sentiments. Today was a must game, he said. We would have preferred three points (in the standings for a win) because that would have been a big separation. But its probably a fair result for both teams.
The Deacons had gone in front 1-0 on Katie Stengels penalty kick late in the first half but couldnt hold onto the lead in face of Dukes determined rally, which culminated in DeCesares header at 74:01.
Laura (Weinberg) got the ball out wide and sent in a stellar cross, said DeCesare, who was waiting at the far post. I was able to get a head on it.
Up until then, the Blue Devils had dominated possession, outshooting the Deacons 12-3 to that point, but had nothing to show for it.
We felt it coming, DeCesare said. We were confident, but its still frustrating. When we dominate play, we need to win games.
Church liked his teams resolve, if not its execution, on offense.
Wake Forest had given up only nine goals all year, said Church, who noted the five saves by Deacons goalkeeper Audrey Bledsoe. Weve got to play through the pressure and make better decisions. I thought in the first half we played really well until the final third. Then in the final third we werent dangerous and dynamic enough.
Stengels team-high fifth goal of the season came as she was pursuing Wake defender Jackie McSallys flick-on header in the penalty area. Duke defender Libby Jandl was assessed a yellow card for grabbing Stengels jersey, and Stengel buried the resulting penalty kick in the upper right corner only 2:09 before halftime.
The Deacons nearly pulled out the victory in regulation but were denied on a big defensive play in the 76th minute by Duke midfielder Cassie Pecht. Off a corner kick, Wakes Jackie Logue sent a header toward the near post, but Pecht headed it off the line. Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell then made a follow-up save on another header by Kim Marshall.
That play just came out of nowhere, a relieved Church said. They hadnt had the ball down there in forever.
Although Wake had been content to sit on its lead in regulation, the Deacons dominated the 20 minutes of double overtime, outshooting Duke 7-2 and forcing Campbell to make two of her four saves.