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Cardinal Falls to No. 5 Duke

Sep 2, 2021

DURHAM, N.C. – In a battle of top 10 teams, No. 10 Stanford (3-1) suffered a 2-1 setback at the hands of No. 5 Duke (5-0) from Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Thursday night.

"The team had a strong performance and we will grow from the experience," The Knowles Family Director of Women's Soccer Paul Ratcliffe said after the match.

The Blue Devils led 1-0 at half thanks to a goal from Michelle Cooper in the 23rd minute. The Cardinal seemingly cleared a corner kick from Duke, but a quick ball back into the box from Emily Royson found the foot of Cooper who fired past Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer.

Senior Naomi Girma drew the Cardinal even in the 66th minute, receiving a pass from freshman Andrea Kitahata about seven yards beyond the top of the box and unleashing a shot to the upper 90 for her first goal of the year. The goal was Girma's fifth of her career, while Kitahata was credited with her third assist of the season.

Responding quickly, Duke earned a free kick in the 70th minute as Kellie Pagador was handed a yellow card for a tackle just a few yards outside the far-left corner of the box. Caitlin Cosme took the free kick for the Blue Devils, driving a shot near post off the crossbar and in to capture what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Meyer was credited with three saves while facing nine shots in goal for the Cardinal.

Duke goalkeeper Ruthie Jones was forced into three saves as the Cardinal outshot Duke 13-9.

Stanford also managed nine corner kicks to Duke's three, but was unable to convert any of the opportunities.

Stanford will now prepare for another road test on Sunday when it travels to No. 2 North Carolina for a match at 10 a.m. PT.