Deacons Fall To Duke in College Cup Semifinals
Dec. 2, 2011
KENNESAW, Ga. - Duke's Mollie Pathman scored twice as the Blue Devils downed the Demon Deacons 4-1 in the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup on Friday at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., ending the most successful season in Wake Forest women's soccer history.
The 2011 season saw the Deacons reach the College Cup for the first time and end the year with a program-best 18-4-4 record. The Blue Devils move on to face Stanford in the national championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
This season, the Deacons broke through as a national power following their first-ever NCAA quarterfinal appearance in 2009 and their first-ever ACC Championship in 2010. The prospect of continued success looks bright, given that all 11 starters are expected to return next season.
"It's been a great season for us," said head coach Tony da Luz. "I'm very proud of our team and how we've performed all year long. Our body of work from start to finish has been really incredible.
The first half was a fairly even affair, but the Blue Devils seized momentum just before the half on a goal by Kim DeCesare, and then Mollie Pathman scored just after halftime to extend the lead to 2-0. Rachel Nuzzolese got one back for the Deacons in the 57th minute, but Duke struck less than a minute later on a penalty kick to effectively put the game away.
Duke's two corner kick goals were the first goals that the Demon Deacons had allowed on set pieces all season. Wake Forest had its own opportunities on set pieces, scoring once on a Nuzzolese free kick and drawing nine corner kicks that it was unable to convert on.
"Tonight I thought we played a very good first half," said da Luz. "We created some chances, had a lot of corners and were in a pretty good position, but to give up the goal right before halftime mentally was not very positive. Those two goals, right before halftime and right after halftime, were not a good way to win a semifinal.:
The Deacons had some decent scoring chances to start the match, earning five corner kicks in the first 12 minutes, but were unable to convert.
Kim DeCesare broke the deadlock for Blue Devils in the 43rd minute. Nicole Lipp served a corner kick into the box that found its way through a maze of players to DeCesare on the left side of the box, and DeCesare took a shot that Bledsoe got a piece of but could not stop before it trickled over the goal line to put Duke in front 1-0.
The Blue Devils doubled their lead in the 51st minute, a cross found its way through the box to Laura Weinberg who sent it right back across. Mollie Pathman slide onto the well-placed ball and volleyed it in to extend the Duke lead to 2-0.
But Duke answered back less than a minute later when Kaitlyn Kerr drew a foul in the box leading to a penalty kick that Pathman converted. It was the first penalty that the Deacons had conceded all season.
Marisa Park came close to scoring for the Deacons in the 64th minute after Katie Stengel found her wide open on the right side of the box, but her low shot was stopped by Tara Campbell on a good kick save.
Another set piece was the source of Duke's fourth goal. Lipp again served the ball in, finding the Kaitlyn Kerr, who headed it into the back of the net.