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NCAA Oct 25, 2021

No. 6 Duke shuts out No. 1 Florida State, handing Seminoles first loss

DURHAM – Graduate student Tess Boade scored in the 27th minute and the Duke defense held Florida State scoreless for the first time this season as the No. 6 Blue Devils topped the No. 1 Seminoles, 1-0, Sunday at Koskinen Stadium.

The win marked Duke’s first victory over a top-ranked opponent since Oct. 9, 2005, when the Blue Devils beat No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Duke (12-2-1, 6-2-1 ACC) also earned its first win over the Seminoles (14-1-1, 7-1-1 ACC) since Oct. 8, 2017.

Boade’s game-winner came at the 26:52 mark on a play that began with sophomore Emily Royson crossing midfield with open space. Royson surveyed the attacking third and sent a diagonal ball towards freshman Michelle Cooper, who let it go through intentionally as multiple Seminole defenders closed in. The ball rolled to Boade at the top of the 18-yard box, and the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native drilled a left-footed shot on goal that hit FSU goalkeeper Mia Justus’ hands before trickling just over the line and in.

The goal was Boade’s seventh of the season and a broke five-game scoring drought for Duke against Florida State.

The remainder of the first half was a back-and-forth affair with both sides attempting six shots. The Blue Devils went into halftime with the lead for the seventh time this season, looking to improve on a perfect 6-0-0 mark in their previous games.

Junior goalkeeper Ruthie Jones made three saves during the opening period, including one on a low strike from Clara Robbins in the 15th minute.

The Blue Devils did not appear content with the one-goal lead throughout the second half, seeking an insurance tally even as the match wound into the final 15 minutes. In the 76th minute, sophomore Olivia Migli got her head on a cross from the right side, but the ball was directed just right of the far post. Six minutes later, sophomore Grace Watkins found open space up the middle and entered the attacking third with the FSU defenders still retreating. Watkins blasted a right-footed shot towards the top of the net that Justus had to leap to deflect over the bar.

Duke’s defense did not yield any prime scoring chances to the high-powered Seminole attack. Florida State managed just one attempt on target in the second half, a long-range shot from Emma Bissell that Jones corralled in the 74th minute.

As the clock ticked under a minute left, Florida State upped the pressure and moved the ball around the top of the box. It could not find a clean look, however, and even after a yellow card with 12 seconds left set the Seminoles up with a free kick from 40 yards out, Duke shut down the final opportunity as Caitlin Cosme headed it away from danger.

As time expired, the Blue Devil bench poured onto the field to celebrate in front of a season-high attendance of 1,731 at Koskinen Stadium.

The win came on Senior Day for Duke, as each of the team’s five seniors – Delaney GrahamMarykate McGuireMackenzie PluckSydney Simmons and Holland Stam – were recognized in a pregame ceremony. The group has contributed to 49 victories over the last four seasons while helping the Blue Devils earn a bid to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments

Duke wraps up the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 28, when the Blue Devils travel to Louisville for a 5 p.m. match on ACC Network.


  • The 2021 season marks the 21st at Duke for head coach Robbie Church, where he is now 268-133-60.
  • The Blue Devils earned their ninth shutout of the season and their fourth consecutive clean sheet. The last time Duke posted shutouts in four straight games was Oct. 4-18, 2020.
  • The result marked Florida State’s first loss in regulation in its last 32 matches dating back to the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
  • Duke held Florida State scoreless for the first time since the Seminoles’ national semifinal match versus Virginia on May 13, 2021 – a 17-game streak.
  • The Blue Devils improved to 6-1-0 this season against opponents ranked in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
  • Duke concludes its regular-season home slate with a 9-1-0 mark at Koskinen. The Blue Devils are now 45-5-7 at the venue since the start of the 2017 campaign.
  • Graduate student Tess Boade has scored four goals in her last five matches – the most in a five-game span in her career. She also has 10 points in that span.
  • Four of Boade’s seven goals this season have been game-winners.
  • Sophomore Emily Royson picked up her third assist of the season on Boade’s goal, marking a career high. The Toms River, N.J., native has played every minute in Duke’s last nine matches, totaling 851 minutes in that stretch.
  • Junior goalkeeper Ruthie Jones earned her 16th career complete-game shutout and improves her save percentage on the season to .841. Her 0.48 goals against average leads the ACC.

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