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William & Mary women’s soccer falls 2-0 at No. 21 Duke

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DURHAM, N.C. – The William & Mary women’s soccer team dropped a hard fought contest 2-0 at No. 21 Duke on Sunday night. With the decision the Tribe suffers its first loss of 2015 and falls to 3-1-0, while the Blue Devils improve 3-0-1 on the season.

No. 21 Duke controlled the fist half of play and kept the ball on its half of the field for a majority of the first half. The Blue Devils held a 10-0 advantage in shots at the break.

The Blue Devils, however, were only able to muster one shot on goal during the first half. In the 24th minute, Toni Payne turned a shot on target, but senior goalkeeper Caroline Casey was there for the stop.

Duke jumped on the board in large part thanks to a penalty kick. After a handball in the box, Christina Gibbons lined up a PK, but clanked it off of the cross bar. The rebound landed on the foot of Taylor Racioppi, who placed the ball into the goal. The tally lifted the Blue Devils to a 1-0 lead.

Just eight minutes later, the Blue Devils doubled their lead. Racioppi fired a shot that clanked off of the crossbar, but waiting for it was Payne, who headed the ball into the open net.

W&M had a decent look at the goal in the 63rd minute. Senior Leci Irvin created some space for herself and fired a shot from the top right of the box, but her shot was turned away by Duke goalie EJ Proctor.

The Tribe put another shot on goal in the 72nd minute. From distance, sophomore Elysse Branton fired a shot, but Proctor saved it. The final chance for the Green and Gold came in the final minute. Off of a free kick sent towards the goal by senior Nicole Baxter, sophomore Haley Kavanaugh got a foot on the ball, but Proctor stopped that as well.

Despite the decision, Casey played very strong in goal. Casey turned away a season-high seven shots in goal for the College. With the seven saves, she is now six saves away from become fifth all-time in career saves.

The College continues and concludes its three-game road trip next weekend in the N.C. State Tournament. The Tribe takes on Wake Forest on Friday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. They conclude the tournament with host N.C. State on Sunday, Sept. 6 in a 2 p.m. match.

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