Blue Devils Spell Double Trouble to End Cal's Season in NCAAs

Morgan's Return Not Enough for Bears as Duke Scores Twice in a Minute During Second Round

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Coach Neil McGuire was pleased with his team's Friday match against Duke - except for one minute. The Bears outshot the Blue Devils 7-1 in the first 45 and 10-8 for the game, but one nightmare minute cost the Bears a second-round berth of the NCAA Tournament. After sophomore Betsy Hassett's 45th-minute goal put the Bears up 1-0, Duke scored twice in the span of one minute and defeated Cal, 2-1 in a first-round tournament game at Gainesville, Fla.

"Our players possibly came on the second half thinking it was gonna be the same way," McGuire said.

But the Blue Devils had other plans, and in just one minute, ended the Bears' season.

"It was not a good minute of play," McGuire said. "We made some bad decisions, and unfortunately it led to our loss."

In the 73rd minute, Duke's Kaitlyn Kerr equalized the score at 1-1 with a header off of a free kick. Then, about 30 seconds later, Laura Weinberg scored her tenth goal of the season, simultaneously ending Cal's 2010 campaign.

"Over the course of 90 minutes, we played very well." McGuire said. "Unfortunately, just in that one-minute period we gave up two, what we would consider 'silly' goals."

Those 60 seconds represented the majority of Duke's challenges on Cal's net.

Goalkeeper Emily Kruger, who had made 58 saves in her 16 games, only saved two of Duke's shots. The first half's score and shot count suggested that Cal would continue to dominate.

But the team who had spent most of their season improving from the first half to the second had met their match in Duke.

"They expected us to come in a 4-3-3, and we came in a 4-4-2," McGuire said. "We were able to find spaces in particular that they didn't expect us to be in."

It only took halftime for the Blue Devils to adjust to Cal's system. Duke outshot the Bears 7-3 in the second half and outscored them 2-0.

Co-captain Alex Morgan returned to the collegiate playing field from her stint with the national team, according to McGuire, because they felt it was important to finish her career with a postseason game.

"Obviously our hope was that she would play one game and we would continue on," McGuire said. "National team coach Pia Sundhage was gracious enough to allow Alex to play in the game, and then travel from there to Italy."

Morgan could have been a factor in keeping that hope alive; it was her assist that gave Cal its initial lead. But the Blue Devils one-minute scoring frenzy ended the careers of all four seniors on the same field.

With different destinations, seniors Morgan, Emily Shibata, Megan Jesolva and McKenna McKetty will leave Florida the same way they have each of their four years, never advancing past the second round.

Tags: ALEX MORGAN, CAL WOMEN'S SOCCER, NEIL MCGUIRE


Alex Matthews covers women's soccer. Contact her at [email protected]



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