DURHAM, N.C. – In a matchup of two top-15 teams, No. 13 Penn was unable to rally on the road to defeat No. 10 Duke as the Blue Devils closed the game on a five-goal run for a 12-6 win at Koskinen Stadium
Iris Williamson almost single-handedly willed her team back into the game, finishing with four goals – including three consecutive for the Quakers over 14:44 of game play. She scored twice within a span of 1:05 early in the second half to bring Penn back within one, 7-6.
That was as close as the Quakers would get, though. The Quakers had the better of the possession edge in the second half, but after getting within one Penn could not find the equalizer. The Quakers had three looks at netting the tying goal, but missed on each – including a free position attempted denied off the stick of Lely DeSimone. After holding the Blue Devils off the scoreboard for 19:56 of game play, Penn conceded three in a row – including two in a span of 29 seconds – to end the comeback hopes. Three of Duke’s final five goals to build the final margin of victory came with Penn pulling the goalkeeper out into the field, trying to force a turnover.
Penn opened the game with a long possession, running offense for 3:40 before Emily Rogers-Healion was able to find space close to goal and fired home the game’s first goal. Duke would answer 33 seconds later, Stuart Humphrey netting the goal.
The Quakers would run transition for their next two goals. Off a Britt Brown save, Lely DeSimone carried the ball down field for the clear. She would then pass off to Iris Williamson who charged to goal and bounced in a shot to give Penn a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Devils would score the next three to take a 4-1 lead before Brooke Kiley caused a turnover off of a draw control win. She fed to Rogers-Healion who broke in 2-on-1 with Nina Corcoran. All alone with the keeper, Corcoran found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one with 17:18 to play in the first half.
Duke would counter with three in a row – Kyra Heaney on the fly and Kelci Smesko for the second time in the game on a free position. The Blue Devils would add a seventh goal in the first half, Acton scoring with 1.0 seconds left on the clock after a Penn turnover while trying to run out the clock. A Penn defender lost the ball while cradling, and Acton scooped up the ball and was all alone on Brown.
Britt Brown finished with nine saves and two ground balls in goal. Katy Junior had three caused turnovers and three ground balls, while Brooke Kiley had two caused turnovers.
The Quakers return to Franklin Field on March 2, hosting Rutgers at 6:30 p.m.