DURHAM, N.C. – The UAB women’s soccer team (2-1) fell to the Duke Blue Devils, 3-1, at Koskinen Stadium Sunday afternoon in Durham.
The Blue Devils, an NCAA quarterfinal team from a season ago that was ranked in the top-25 in the NSCAA Continental Tire Preseason Poll, took an offensive advantage early and struck three times within the first 28 minutes of the match.
“The big thing was, we didn’t come out as hard as we needed to,” head coach Harold Warren said following the match. “They went to the Elite 8 last year, an excellent team, talented team with a great coaching staff and Robbie Church is an excellent head coach. We didn’t come out hard enough and made some mistakes, and a team at that level will punish you and they did.”
After a 3-0 deficit at halftime, UAB made its second shot of the match count when freshman Rachel Green took a pass from Kimberly Fincher to net the Blazers’ only goal of the contest and cut the lead to 3-1. Following 19 Duke shots in the opening half, UAB keeper Angelica Jimenez kept everything out in the second period, totaling four saves on Duke’s 12 shots to close out the final 45 minutes.
Kelly Cobb scored first for Duke at the 6:37 mark and Toni Payne struck four minutes later. Imani Dorsey put in Duke’s final goal at the 27:14 mark.
“It’s a great learning experience for this group,” Warren said. “We played a big ACC team that will be in the NCAA Tournament.”
Duke outshot the Blazers 31-6 with five of UAB’s shots coming in the second period.
UAB will return to action next weekend at the College of Charleston Tournament to face Jacksonville and Illinois.
For more information on the UAB women’s soccer team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UABWomensSoccer). For more on all Blazer sports teams follow the official Twitter account of UAB Athletics (@UABAthletics).