Sept. 20, 2013
#13 Northwestern 3, #9 Duke 2
Jack Katz Stadium Durham, N.C. Attendance: 196
Box Score | Box Score
DURHAM, N.C. -- Sophomore Caroline Troncelliti's goal with 8:12 remaining was the difference as No. 13 Northwestern ran its winning streak to eight with a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Duke at Jack Katz Stadium Friday evening.
"I was very happy with our performance today," Northwestern head coach Tracey Fuchs said. "It was a total team effort. Our corner execution was as good as it has been all season and that was the difference. Duke is a very good team and it was a hard-fought battle for 70 minutes."
The Wildcats controlled possession through the opening minutes of the contest and the pressure paid off 10 minutes into the contest. Kelley Stump earned a pair of penalty corners for the visitors and the second resulted in Puffenberger scoring off a rebound of Dominique Masters' initial shot at the 9:45 mark, giving NU a 1-0 lead.
Similar to last year's matchup in Durham when Northwestern scored the first four goals of the match, the 'Cats didn't let up once they got the early advantage. NU notched its fifth penalty corner of the half with 14 minutes remaining and Puffenberger fired a rocket from the top of the circle that was deflected in by Nikki Parsley past Lauren Blazing to make it 2-0.
Meanwhile, Northwestern's stellar defense entered the contest ranked second in the nation with a 0.73 goals-against average while only allowing two goals over the previous six contests. The Wildcats allowed the Blue Devils to attempt only one shot in the first half, including none over the final 29 minutes of action. NU recorded 11 shots itself over the opening 35 minutes of play while posting a 7-1 edge in corners.
However, Duke came out of the intermission rejuvenated and trimmed its deficit in half in the first minute of the second stanza as Emmie Le Marchand's shot was saved by Maddy Carpenter, but Aileen Johnson put in the rebound.
The comeback would be completed with 11:20 remaining in regulation when Heather Morris scored off a penalty corner, making it 2-2.
Northwestern responded three minutes later, though, as Masters got free on the left side of the circle and sent the ball in front of the cage where Troncelliti fit it through the legs of Blazing, giving the Wildcats a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
NU finished with advantages of 22-10 in shots and 16-6 in corners with Maddy Carpenter making three saves to earn the win in goal.
The Wildcats face another stiff test on Sunday as they wrap up their brief East Coast road trip at fourth-ranked Virginia. The contest is slated to get underway at noon Central time.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!