Cassie Pyle's score made it a two-goal game with 8:27 to go, and all the ingredients were there for a tremendous finish on Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium Saturday afternoon between third-ranked Duke and eighth-ranked Princeton.
As it turned out, the only drama was in who would win the next draw control, and unfortunately for the Tigers, that would turn out to be the Blue Devils - who then took nearly six minutes off the clock and then added a back-breaking goal in what would end as a 12-9 loss for Princeton.
For Princeton, it was the third game in eight days to open the season, a stretch that saw the Tigers beat Villanova and lose an overtime game to Rutgers before falling to the Blue Devils.
Duke was playing its seventh game and is now 5-2.
"It certainly was a much better game than Wednesday night," Princeton head coach Chris Sailer said about the Rutgers game. "There was a lot to build on from this game. It's the first week. We can take a lot of positives from this."
Princeton trailed 11-6 before scoring three goals in less than four minutes, the third of which was Pyle's goal to make it 11-9.
All the Tiger momentum disappeared when Duke won the draw control and then played keepaway for more than five minutes, passing up several chances to go to the goal in order to kill the clock.
Then, with 3:17 to go, Duke's Emma Hamm found herself one-on-one with Princeton goalie Annie Woehling and decided to shoot, only to have Woehling make the point-blank save and start the clear.
Princeton would turn the ball back over to Duke before getting settled offensively, though, and the Blue Devils cashed in the clincher with 1:46 left.
Princeton's only lead of the game would be at 1-0, but Princeton would cut a 5-2 deficit to 6-5 at intermission. The Blue Devils built it up to 10-5 with the first four of the second half, but the Tigers didn't go away.
Pyle, Sarah Lloyd and Barb Previ had two goals each, and Mary-Kate Sivilli had a goal and assist.
Kerrin Maurer had four goals and an assist for Duke.
The Tigers open the Ivy League season next Saturday at Brown.