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The Daily Tar Heel

Last-Minute Shot Hands Duke Win Against UNC

So it wasn't much of a surprise when Saturday's game between the rivals at Koskinen Stadium came down to the final seconds.

In the teams' last three meetings the game has been decided by a margin of one point and this game followed suit.

With just 14 seconds remaining in the game, Lauren Gallagher scored to beat No. 8 UNC 9-8.

UNC (3-3, 0-2 in the ACC) started strong and made a statement at the whistle when midfielder Stone won the draw control and ran straight to the goal to score seven seconds into the match. Junior attacker Kellie Thompson added another Tar Heel goal just 1:59 later.

But for the next 24:09 UNC was silent offensively, while No. 4 Duke scored the next six goals. Blue Devil midfielder Kelly Dirks started the scoring barrage when Gallagher found her open in front of the Tar Heels' net just 22 seconds after Thompson's goal.

The Tar Heels' deficit didn't come from a lack of shots, though. UNC equalled Duke's 10 shots on goal in the first half.

"We didn't take advantage of the shots we had," junior defender Porter Wilkinson said. "There were a lot of shots that should have been goals."

The Tar Heels' offense came back to life when junior midfielder Christine McPike spun around three Duke defenders to score her first of four goals with 3:45 left in the half.

"We realized the goalie was good high and we needed to shoot low," McPike said. "We made that adjustment later, but it probably should have happened sooner."

Although the Blue Devils opened the half with another goal compliments of Dirks, McPike nailed a shot at the far post with 19:25 remaining to swing the momentum back in UNC's direction.

Blue Devil attacker Jessica Bennet answered back 2:57 later with a shot over Tar Heel goalie Melissa Coyne's head, but for the next 16:14 it was Duke who couldn't find the back of the net.

UNC scored three goals in 1:51 to diminish Duke's lead to one.

McPike started the scoring spree with 13:32 remaining when she backed up against a Duke defender and swung a shot in the net.

"Christine left her heart on the field," UNC coach Jenny Slingluff Levy said. "She is a competitor and is playing the best I've seen her play since she's been at Carolina."

Stone and Nicole Foran both scored on free possession shots.

"We went in hard and got some fouls," Stone said. "That gave us the momentum and we started taking smarter shots. We have a lot of speed in our attack and that helped us in the midfield."

The Tar Heels' renewed energy kept Duke from seeing any offensive action for the next 4:14.

"This game is about momentum," Slingluff Levy said. "If you can gain the momentum longer that's gonna be the key. They certainly had that to go up, but after that we readjusted well."

During the final 50 seconds possession changed hands five times in the middle of the field. Duke finally gained control of the ball, brought it down the field and waited for a shot to open. With time running out, the Blue Devils' patience paid off and Gallagher placed a high shot in the goal to win the game.

"It was a tough loss," Wilkinson said. "But I think when we came back into the second half we showed we were fit, feisty and tough and we'll take that confidence into the rest of our season."

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