Blue Devils defeat Panthers, 5-0, for Church’s ACC’s 100th win


DURHAM – Second year Katie Groff scored his first two career goals in the first half and Duke’s defense limited Pittsburgh to one shot on goal as the No.4 Blue Devils claimed a 5-0 victory on Sunday at Koskinen Stadium.

The victory marks the head coach Robbie Church‘s The ACC’s 100th regular season win, all coming from his 21 years at Duke. The Blue Devils improved to 9-2-1 over the season and 3-2-1 in conference action while rebounding from a double overtime loss to NC State on Thursday night.

Groff rolled Duke in the ninth minute with his first career goal. Senior Mackenzie pluck sent a corner kick into the 18-yard penalty area that bounced off several players before heading to the back post, where Groff directed it past Pittsburgh goalkeeper Katherine Robinson to make it 1-0.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native found the back of the net again three minutes later when the Blue Devils got a free kick from 25 yards. Graduate students Tess Boade and Caitlin cosme lined up on the ball but played a soft pass to Groff, and the sophomore pierced a left-footed landing shot in the lower right corner of the goal to double Duke’s lead.

Duke held the ball for most of the first half, ending the period with seven shooting attempts. The Blue Devils also made six substitutions in the opening 45 minutes as both teams headed for the break with Duke holding a 2-0 advantage.

Boade made it a dominant 3-0 game in the 51st minute with his fifth goal of the season. Senior Sydney simmons recorded her first career assist on the play, slipping a feed to Boade inside the box the graduate student buried in the lower left corner.

First-year student Michelle cooper got into the action soon after when she accepted a pass from Simmons 30 yards from goal, dribbled it just outside the box and landed a left-footed strike in front of Robinson. Cooper scored his seventh goal of the season on the game, the most by a Duke freshman since Ella Stevens had 10 in 2016.

With the game in hand, the Blue Devils made 13 more substitutions and finished the afternoon with 24 players on the pitch. Among these were each of the three goalkeepers – Ruthie jones (70 min), Maddie nielsen (14 minutes) and Holly stam (six minutes).

Senior Marykate mcguire scored Duke’s fifth goal with 15 seconds remaining. A Blue Devil corner was cleared for junior Bria Schrotenboer, who replayed it in the box and found McGuire between two Panthers defenders. Portsmouth native RI put her right foot on the ball and pushed it back past goaltender Caitlyn Lazzarini for her fourth goal of the season.

Duke finished the game with 17 shooting attempts, including 12 on goal. Jones made a save in the 47th minute, stopping a head-to-head chance for Mackenzie Evers. The Blue Devil defense got its sixth shutout of the season and limited an opponent to a single shot on goal for the first time since April 2, 2021.

Duke hits the road for a showdown in Wake Forest on Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.


  • 2021 season marks 21st at Duke for head coach Robbie Church, where it is now 265-133-60.
  • Church earned her 100th ACC regular season victory. He holds a 100-62-33 conference record since joining Duke in 2001.
  • Duke’s five goals that day were the highest against an ACC opponent since September 17, 2016 – a 6-0 victory over No.16 Boston College.
  • Second year Katie Groff scored his first two career goals in the opening 12 minutes. The last Duke player to score his first two career goals in the same game was Maggie Graham, who made it to Syracuse on October 18, 2020.
  • Senior Sydney simmons two assists scored his first two career points in his 52nd game with the Blue Devils.
  • Graduate student Tess Boade played his 85th career game and scored his 19th career goal. Each of Boade’s five goals this season has been scored within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
  • Senior Marykate mcguire scored his 19th career goal at 89:45 and tied his career high with five shots on goal.
  • Junior Bria Schrotenboer recorded his first assist as a member of the Blue Devils on McGuire’s tally. The Michigan State transfer made his third appearance for Duke, recording 18 minutes.
  • First-year student Dieynaba Ndaw played 17 minutes, a season high.


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