In a sweltering match at Klockner Stadium Sunday afternoon, No. 1 Virginia and No. 10 Duke battled through overtime after neither team found the net during regulation. The Cavaliers (9-0-2, 1-0-2 ACC) looked dominant as they found countless opportunities in the first half to score on the Blue Devils (6-1-3, 1-1-2 ACC). Junior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory came up with three major saves in overtime, but Virginia was unable to put the ball away as the minutes ticked down.
“They sat in on us, which is to be expected,” Ivory said. “We do have a really talented group and we just got really frustrated and we didn’t work through that as well as we should have. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of that coming through ACC play so we just gotta learn how to deal with it and push through it.”
As with every match this season, the Cavaliers held steady offensive pressure against the Blue Devils in the first 45 minutes. The Virginia defense also performed well early, keeping Duke out of the box with impressive clearing.
While Virginia clearly looked to be the better team in the first half, they were unable to meet the back of the net. The Cavaliers totaled 11 shots while the Blue Devils came up empty. Sophomore forward Alexa Spaanstra led Virginia in the first 45 with three shots, including two that were on target. Senior forward Meghan McCool also had a trio of opportunities but was just off the mark in her three attempts.
After the half, junior midfielder Taryn Torres sent a strike off a free kick toward the upper netting in the 63rd minute, but it was punched out by the Duke keeper.
In the 65th minute, sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Pluck was only challenged by one defender as she rushed toward Ivory. Her shot missed just right of the post as Virginia fans let out a sigh of relief.
The Blue Devils caught a break as Ivory left her line in the 79th minute and sophomore forward Marykate McGuire jumped over the diving Ivory and traveled through the box. McGuire had an open opportunity but missed wide in her attempt, leaving Virginia off the hook.
With no score at the end of regulation, the game headed into overtime for the second time in ACC play.
Duke started to generate momentum in the final minutes of the first overtime period. Ivory proved her talent as she came off her line to make an incredible save in the 97th minute, sliding into the foot of junior forward Tess Boade to block the shot in a one versus one chance.
The game maintained equal intensity through the second overtime period despite both teams showing signs of fatigue. Ivory made two more saves before time ran out.
Coach Steve Swanson acknowledged that the team had missed vital opportunities in the first half to take the lead, but also gave credit to Duke for generating dangerous scoring opportunities.
“In one way you look at it and you’re disappointed but in the other way you look at it … for the chances they got and for us to keep them to a shutout was, you know, we have to feel decent about that,” Swanson said.
Virginia travels to Coral Gables, Fla., to face Miami Friday at 8 p.m.