Walkley's Golden Goal Downs No. 9 Duke 3-2
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Kari Walkley fired the game-winning goal for Wake Forest with just three minutes remaining in double overtime, toppling No. 9 Duke 3-2 at Kentner Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Deacons improve to 2-2 (1-0 ACC) for the season, while the Blue Devils drop to 2-3 (0-1 ACC). The win was also Wake's second over a top-10 team in 2012 after the Deacs dropped then-No. 10 Michigan 2-1 on Aug. 26.
Duke came out firing early in the game, with Brenna Rescigno and Emmie Le Marchand forcing goalkeeper Kaitlyn Ruhf into a pair of difficult saves in the first 10 minutes. The Deacons responded with a great shot of their own, though, with Krysta Wangerin peppering Duke goalkeeper Lauren Blazing at the 10:43 mark but coming up empty.
The two sides settled in and played almost evenly for the next 20 minutes, but Mary Nielsen finally broke the game open for the Blue Devils in the 32nd minute, catching a deflection from Le Marchand in front of the cage and sending it past Ruhf to give Duke a 1-0 advantage.
The Blue Devils struck again just before the half on a blistering shot from Jessica Buttinger. Abby Beltrani sent the ball across the circle and connected perfectly with Buttinger, who beat Ruhf with a shot to the bottom of the cage. With the goal, Duke took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Wake Forest refused to go away, however. Anna Kozniuk and Molly Murphy had shots that went high and wide, respectively, around 15 minutes into the half. After the offensive pressure, Jess McFadyen finally cut into the Blue Devils' lead at the 49:02 mark on an impressive penalty corner. McFadyen inserted the ball to Kozniuk, who quickly kicked it back to McFadyen for the score.
With time winding down and the Deacs still trailing 2-1, they brought the pressure again beginning in the 63rd minute. Lizzie Rae and Taylor Rhea each had a shot saved by Blazing, but Wake earned a penalty corner in the next minute. McFadyen and Kozniuk managed a near-mirror image of the play that produced the first goal, and McFadyen sent it home to level the game at 2-2 and send the matchup into overtime.
Wake and Duke managed to play only four minutes into overtime before a severe storm rolled through the area, forcing the evacuation of Kentner Stadium. Play would not resume for more than an hour as the rain continued to pour, but eventually the storm passed and allowed the game to continue.
The Deacs were on fire once the game resumed. Rae and McFadyen blasted Blazing, but could not break through for the golden goal. Wake then had to weather a storm of Duke penalty corners over the last five minutes of the first extra period and succeeded in not allowing a single shot on goal to force a second overtime.
Both sides seemed to be wearing down as the game dragged on and fatigue set in, and neither could seize upon scoring opportunities early in the period. Finally, in the 97th minute, Wangerin and Walkley hooked up for the winning goal. Wangerin sent a beautiful pass across the circle and Walkley collected it just in front of the cage before beating Blazing for the sudden-death goal.
Wake Forest will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at Kentner Stadium as the Deacs take on Northwestern. They lead the all-time series 4-1 and have outscored the Wildcats 23-4 in those five matchups.