“Games like these are what the ACC is all about,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “Coming off a tough loss at Maryland on Thursday, we knew it was going to be a similar type of game today. We played well, especially defensively, and shutout one of the highest scoring teams in the nation in Duke. As they pushed more people forward late in the game, we felt like we could attack them on the counter. That opportunity came and we took advantage of that situation with a great pass by Caroline (Miller) and a great finish by Makenzy.”
The first half was even with each team totaling seven shots, including ones off the post at both ends. It marked the third consecutive game between the Cavaliers and Blue Devils that went to intermission scoreless.
The game remained 0-0 into the final 10 minutes as the teams continued to trade chances, but neither able to find the back of the net. Virginia nearly took the lead in the 81st minute as Kate Norbo’s (Roanoke, Va.) header off a corner kick was saved off the line by a Duke defender.
The Cavaliers scored the game’s lone goal with just under three minutes to play. Caroline Miller (Rockville, Md.) took a clearance by the Virginia defense and started a counterattack. She dribbled past midfield before threading a through ball into the run of Doniak. The Cavalier freshman took the pass, dribbled into the box and slotted home her eighth goal of the season. It would be her third game-winning goal of her rookie campaign.
“Caroline gave me a great ball through,” said Doniak. “I had already started my run and she gave me the perfect ball to my feet. I saw the goalie come off her line and was able to slip it past her. It was a great feeling to score a goal that gave our team such an important win.”
The Blue Devils outshot the Cavaliers 19-14 and had a 4-3 corner-kick advantage. Danielle DeLisle (Baltimore, Md.) made four saves to post her third shutout of the season in goal for Virginia. Tara Campbell made five saves at the other end for Duke.
The Cavaliers return to action on Friday as they host No. 13 Wake Forest. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast online by the ACC Digital Network, available on YouTube.