[PENN STATE-DUKE] U.S. international Christine Nairn scored on a penalty kick in the 14th minute and Penn State held off 2011 national
runner-up Duke to earn a 1-0 victory for its first appearance in the Women’s College Cup since 2005. Senior Erin McNulty was brilliant in goal, making
five saves to stop the Blue Devils, who finished with a 19-7 edge in shots.
Duke All-American Natasha Anasi tripped up Nairn at the top of the box, forcing the penalty kick that Nairn converted to give the Nittany Lions the lead.
Duke had plenty of chances.
Junior Kaitlyn Kerr opened the game with Duke’s first three shots, including a great one-v-one chance in the 8th minute that was saved by McNulty.
Just five minutes after Nairn’s goal, Duke’s Nicole Lipp had a wide open shot that scraped the crossbar.
In the 69th minute, Laura Weinberg ripped a shot that McNulty stopped. The ball came to Kim DeCesare, who took one more crack at it, but McNulty gathered the ball.
McNulty will face Florida State with which she went to the Women's College Cup as a freshman.
“Congratulations to Penn State, Erica [Walsh] and her staff,” said Duke coach Robbie Church. “They do a fantastic job. I don’t think we could have executed our game plan any better. We created a number of opportunities, but the name of the game is to be able to finish on your opportunities and we didn’t do that. It’s a heartbreaking loss for us; we played hard. We competed the whole time and the kids did everything we asked them to, which was to come up here in this environment and this field. But we wish Penn State luck as they move forward to the final four.”
Nov. 23 in University Park, Pa.
Penn State 1 Duke 0. Goal: Nairn (pen.) 14.
Penn State -- McNulty, Chapic, Church, Hovington, Hurd, Nairn, Evans, Rodriguez, Weber, Hayes, Costa. Subs: Persson, Garcia, Costa, Peterson.
Duke -- Campbell, Jandl, Anasi, Koballa, Haller, Lipp, Kerr, Doria, Pecht, Weinberg, Pathman, DeCesare. Subs: Cobb, Doria.
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