BLACKSBURG, Va. – After a hard fought battle, the No. 15 Virginia Tech women’s soccer team fell to the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils, 3-2 in overtime Thursday night at Thompson Field. Tech took the lead early and stuck with it despite falling behind, but Duke found the back of the net first in overtime to take the win. Ashley Meier and Kelsey Loupee were the goal scorers for the Hokies, while Duke’s Laura Weinberg scored twice and Kaitlyn Kerr added one of her own.
The game opened with Duke (9-3-1, 3-2-1 ACC) dominating possession but the Hokies (10-3-0, 2-3-0 ACC) took advantage of every opportunity they had to begin the game. Early on, Julia Goldsworthy crossed a pass to Shannon Mayrose who was up close to the goal, but unable to capitalize as the nearby goalie trapped the ball to stop the effort.
After another up-close, powerful attempt from Jazmine Reeves, Tech was finally able to break through and get on the board. Meier stuck with her initial effort and it paid off as she scored her fifth goal of the season in the 30th minute. Meier was crashing the middle when Reeves sent the ball back towards the crowd from the end line. Meier controlled the pass and quickly fired a hard shot but it ricocheted off the cross bar and returned to her feet. Taking advantage of the second opportunity she kept the ball on the ground this time, sneaking it under the left side of the diving keeper.
Less than two minutes later Meier was as it again as she created space after going one-on-one with a Duke defender. She launched the ball from the left side of the 18-yard box, but it sailed wide right.
Continuing to attack, Katie DeTuro nearly added a second goal towards the end of the opening half when she was body-to-body with Duke’s keeper on one of Tech’s four corners, but the goalie took the slight edge in the air and punched the ball over the goal.
Tech led the way in every statistical category at the half, outshooting the Blue Devils 8-4 in the first half.
Duke saw resurgence as it dominated play to open the second half, but the Hokies would not allow them to steal the momentum. Tech keeper Dayle Colpitts made a pair of diving saves, the first of which she was able to punch over the goal and the second she dove and stopped the shot, being forced to hold on with a Duke forward nearby.
In the 66th minute, Weinberg was able to tie the game up when she fired from just beyond the 18 and slipped the ball in under a diving Colpitts.
Five minutes later the Blue Devils took a temporary advantage when Kerr put away a cross from Mollie Pathman to make it a 2-1 game. Pathman brought the ball to the left end line and served it in back towards the crowd in front of the goal. Kerr controlled the pass and snuck the ball just inside the right post and just out of Colpitts’ reach.
Refusing to give up, the Hokies continued to battle and attack. Reeves nearly set up an opportunity for Tech when she weaved her way down the right ride of the field and served a pass into the middle, but the Duke defense was prepared for it and after a scrum was able to clear it out.
Tech’s resiliency paid off in the 75th minute when Kelsey Loupee was in the right place at the right time. A scramble ensued after a Tech corner and after the ball went bouncing around inside the goalie’s box it was knocked out to the feet of Loupee, who threaded the stray ball across the field into the other side of the net.
With the game tied a two apiece, play got chippy late in the second half as two yellow cards were issued, one to each team. Both squads continued to attack but were unable to take the advantage, as the game headed to overtime for the second time at Thompson Field this season. Overall on the year this marked the third overtime game for Tech and the fourth for the Blue Devils.
Duke was the first to fire in the overtime period, but Colpitts helped the ball over the goal and out of play. Though both team’s had opportunities, the Blue Devils decided the match when Weinberg again found the back of the net. Kim DeCesare crossed the ball and Weinberg received it, making a move to her left before sending it towards the goal. The ball bounced off the left post before rolling into the net.
Duke finished the game outshooting the Hokies 18-12, also taking the advantage on corners, 9-7.
Despite the loss, Colpitts’ effort all game kept the Hokies in the match. She finished the game with just fives but her direction and aggressive play helped Tech battle the top-10 opponent to the end. Duke’s Tara Campbell got the win and made just one save in the game.
The Hokies will remain at home to finish out the week of play as they break from conference play to host Oklahoma on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.