DURHAM, N.C. – The UNCG women’s soccer team’s 2017 season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 loss at No. 3 Duke on Saturday night at Koskinen Stadium. The Spartans end the year 11-8-3 while the Blue Devils improve to 20-2-0.
“I am very proud of our team,” said UNCG head coach Michael Coll. “We showed a lot of heart and fight tonight. Duke is one of the top teams in the country and we made it hard for them. This team has accomplished so much, changing the culture of the program. Southern Conference Champions and a NCAA Tournament appearance is great experience for our team moving forward.”
Freshman goalkeeper Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle) recorded nine saves in the match and held Duke to just one goal, marking just the fourth time this season that the Blue Devils have been held to one goal.
This season marked the 10th trip to the NCAA tournament for the Spartans, the first time under Coll’s four-year tenure and first since the 2010 season. The Spartans earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the SoCon Tournament Championship, the eighth in school history and also the first since 2010. UNCG first defeated No. 2 seed and host Samford 2-1 in overtime last Friday and then topped No. 4 seed Western Carolina 1-0 last Sunday afternoon. The Spartans’ eight tournament titles are the most for any team in the history of the SoCon Tournament, now two more than Furman.
Imani Dorsey scored in the 69th minute for the Blue Devils’ only goal of the match. Capitalizing off a UNCG turnover, Dorsey dribbled into the left side of the box and booted the ball into the right side of the net. The Spartans’ defense held Duke to only one goal despite the Blue Devils out-shooting UNCG 31-1 in the game, including 9-0 in shots on goal as well as a 10-1 edge in corner kicks.
UNCG played Duke to a tie in the first half, with the Blue Devils having a 17-1 shots, 7-0 shots on goal and 7-0 corner kicks advantage.