[DUKE-LONG BEACH STATE] Duke is returning to the NCAA Division I women's semifinals for the first time since 1992 thanks to its 2-0 win over Long Beach State. The Blue Devils got goals seven minutes apart in the second half by Kim DeCesare and Gilda Doria to move on to the Women's College Cup.
“I thought we started the game great,” Duke coach Robbie Church said. “I thought we were focused. I thought we started well. The shots we had were really good shots. They were really good looks. I even liked that we finished the last 15 minutes of the half. And [assistant coach] Carla [Overbeck] said it best in the locker room -- we’ve been a second-half team. We haven’t had a start that put us way behind and the second half, just something clicks with this group. I think they felt like we were the better team. We had to finish the things. I thought we had two fantastic goals.”
Duke took a 1-0 lead on a header from DeCesare off Mollie Pathman's perfect cross to the back post.
“This one is like no other, taking my team to the final four,” DeCesare said. “I haven’t been happier. That’s the biggest goal I’ve ever scored. It was awesome.”
Doria added an insurance goal when a ball popped out to Doria near the top of the 18-yard box and she turned away with the outside of her right foot and struck a blast with her left foot.
The Blue Devils did not allow a shot on goal throughout the 90 minutes of action for her 16th shutout of the season.
The 49ers have never advanced as far as they did this season. They came into the game with eight straight wins -- seven by shutout -- and ended the season with an 18-6-1 overall record, marking the most wins in school history.
"Right now, we're hurting a little bit because we were in the game and we felt like we had an outside shot, especially getting into the half with good energy and feeling strong about ourselves," LBSU coach Mauricio Ingrassiasaid. "It's disappointing to not get the result today, but Duke is a fantastic team. I wouldn't be surprised if they are playing for a national championship next Sunday."
Nov. 25 in Durham, N.C.
Duke 2 Long Beach State 0.
DUKE: Kim DeCesare 4 (Mollie Pathman) 67
DUKE: Gilda Doria 1 (unassisted) 74
Duke --Campbell, Jandl, Anasi, Koballa, Haller, Kerr, Lipp, Doria, Cobb, Weinberg, Pathman. Subs: Simpkins, Treese, Lester, DeCesare, Canepa.
Long Beach State -- Gustaves, Balcer, Soza, Strozier, Nelson, Garza, Nelson, Gordon, Wilson, Link, Hubbard. Subs: Mack, Dryden, Roese, Sweetman.