ORLANDO, Florida — For 110 minutes, Duke goalie EJ Proctor held the UCLA women’s soccer team scoreless.
The teams battled through 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes before heading to penalty kicks in the NCAA Division I semifinal.
Proctor stopped one of the Bruins’ five penalty kick shots, but Duke converted just three of its shots.
At the end of the penalty kicks with UCLA players celebrating, Proctor found teammate Kat McDonald and put her left arm around her. McDonald missed the final Duke penalty kick.
“Kat, it’s OK,” Proctor said to the junior. “You gave everything that you could give.”
Teammates tried to approach Proctor to give her comfort, but she waved them away. Her career was done, and Proctor felt content.
“In that moment, I hated that we didn’t win, but we did everything that we were supposed to do,” said Proctor, who is LGBT. “That’s how it’s easier to walk off a field, knowing that we did absolutely everything.”
The NCAA semifinal, which took place Dec. 1 at Orlando City Stadium, officially ended in a 0-0 tie with UCLA advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks. Stanford defeated UCLA 3-2 in the Dec. 3 championship match.
When the Blue Devils (23-2-1 overall) gathered on the field after their final match, Proctor gave reassurance their season was a success.
“I know that we didn’t win everything that we wanted to win, but we broke records, we made history,” Proctor recalled saying on the field. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do that with anyone else, in any other way, my last time putting on a Duke jersey.”
In the semifinal match, Proctor set the Duke career and single-season record for goalie shutouts. She finishes her career with 35 shutouts, and she recorded 14 shutouts during the 2017 season.
The Orlando City Stadium, where Proctor set those records, includes a section of rainbow-colored seats dedicated to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Proctor went and found that section during her team’s walkthrough the day before the UCLA match.
“It’s heartbreaking to see that, but at the same time, I think it was really cool to know that we’re playing in a stadium that had something dedicated to those victims … in a stadium that is so supportive of LGBTQ+,” Proctor said.
Proctor, who completed her academic career at Duke in December as well, plans to now play professional soccer.
Her first choice is the National Women’s Soccer League, which holds its draft Jan. 18. Last year, three goalies were selected during the four-round NWSL Draft.
“If I get drafted, then I’ll go play and try to get a contract on that team,” Proctor said. “If not, then I’ll look to play in Europe or Australia or some international league, but I’m definitely going to keep playing.”
EJ Proctor can be reached on Twitter @EJ_Proctor or Instagram @EJ_Proctor.
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT. Results are for competitions that took place Nov. 27-Dec. 10.
Philip Batler (sophomore, Brown men’s track and field) finished second in the 60 meters (6.96 seconds) at the season-opening Alden Invitational on Dec. 2.
Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) helped the Hokies (9-2 overall) go 4-0 the last two weeks. Emery started all four games, and she scored 19 points with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 90-52 win against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 6.
Bryce Fehringer (sophomore, South Dakota men’s swimming) competed in five events from Dec. 1-3 at the nine-team Rochester Invitational, which South Dakota won. His best finish was 11th in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 59.23 seconds).
Scott Frantz (redshirt sophomore, Kansas State football) is scheduled to compete in the Cactus Bowl against UCLA on Dec. 26. The game is set to be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Connor Griffin (junior, Fordham men’s swimming) finished third in both the 100-yard backstroke (58.06 seconds) and 200 freestyle (1:50.41) in his team’s 156-85 dual meet win against Manhattan on Dec. 6.
Emmonnie Henderson (redshirt senior, Louisville women’s track and field) won the weight throw (62 feet, 4 3/4 inches) at the season-opening 16-team Vanderbilt Invitational on Dec. 2.
Bree Horrocks (redshirt junior, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) and Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) saw the Commodores (3-7 overall) go 2-1 the last two weeks. Horrocks did not play in wins against St. Louis and Iowa State, and she played three minutes in a loss to No. 4-ranked Louisville on Dec. 7. Vanderbilt’s game at LSU on Dec. 31 is scheduled to be broadcast on the SEC Network at 4 p.m. ET.
My-King Johnson (freshman, Arizona football), who is redshirting this season, will see his Wildcats play in the Foster Farms Bowl against Purdue on Dec. 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Ayrton Kasemets (senior, Oakland men’s swimming) earned wins in four of his five events at the five-team Zippy Invitational on Dec. 1-3. He won the 100-yard breaststroke (55.75 seconds) and 200 breaststroke (2:01.48) along with helping win the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.
Kennedy Lohman (sophomore, Texas women’s swimming) competed in six events at the Texas Invitational on Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. Her best individual result was fourth place in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.41).
Michael Mitchell (freshman, Lehigh men’s track and field) helped the Mountain Hawks’ 4x800-meter relay (8:19.95) finish fifth at Saturday’s Fast Times Before Finals meet.
David Pfeiffer (senior, Harvard men’s diving) and G Ryan (senior, Michigan women’s swimming) competed at the seven-team Georgia Invitational on Dec. 1-3. Pfeiffer finished fifth on 3-meter springboard (322.5) and 12th on 1-meter (273.55). Ryan competed in five events with Ryan’s best result a second place in the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:05.88), which helped the No. 4-ranked Wolverines win the women’s team title. The Georgia Invitational marked Ryan’s first meet of the season after being injured earlier in the year.
Drew Davis (assistant coach, Creighton women’s volleyball) saw the season end for the No. 9-seeded Bluejays with a four-set loss to Michigan State on Dec. 2 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Creighton (26-7 overall) opened the NCAA Tournament with a four-set win against Coastal Carolina on Dec. 1.
Nunzio Esposto (diving coach, Duke men and women) coached his divers to second- and third-place finishes in all six men’s and women’s diving events at the seven-team Tennessee Invitational that spanned Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. For their performances at Tennessee, Duke’s Mackenzie Willborn and Teddy Zeng swept ACC Diver of the Week honors on Dec. 5.
Lee-J Mirasolo (assistant coach, Harvard women’s hockey) saw the Crimson (7-4-1 overall) go 2-1 the last two weeks.
Kylon Drones (senior, West Texas A&M men’s track and field) finished second in the 60-meter hurdles (8.18 seconds), setting a personal record, and took fifth in pole vault (14-0) at Saturday’s ASU Early Grizzly Open.
Austin Shupp (senior, Shippensburg men’s track and field) competed in four events at the season-opening Bison Opener on Dec. 1-2. His best finish was second place in both the 60-meter hurdles (8.5 seconds) and the 4x400-meter relay (3:25.51). Shupp also took fifth in long jump (21-1 1/2).
DJ Slifer (assistant coach, Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball) saw the Javelinas (3-7 overall) go 0-3 the last two weeks. A layup with six seconds to go by Texas Woman’s University’s Grace Mitchell beat TAMUK 50-48 on Dec. 2.
Chris Cassingham (senior, Mary Washington men’s swimming) finished third in the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:53.93) for the best result of his five events Dec. 1-2 at the five-team Gettysburg Invitational, where Mary Washington finished second as a team.
Alec Donovan (redshirt sophomore, Centenary wrestling) went 5-1 at the Cyclone Open on Dec. 3.
Isaac Reed III (junior, Denison men’s track & field) finished ninth in long jump (18-7 1/4) and 11th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.94 seconds) at the season-opening Toy Drive Invitational on Dec. 2.
Lexie Gerson (assistant coach, Harcum women’s basketball) saw the Bears (4-7 overall) go 2-4 the last two weeks. The result for a Dec. 7 game listed on Harcum’s schedule against Valley Forge could not be found.
Layne Ingram (head coach, Lansing women’s basketball) guided the Stars (6-3 overall) to a 4-1 record the last two weeks.
Erik Hall can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HallErik or on Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.