Seventeen years ago, Duke dismantled TCU 6-0, achieving a program-record, eight consecutive wins. Robbie Church’s 2017 squad has now doubled that mark and has a chance to add even more in a top-10 showdown to close out the regular season. 

The only thing standing between No. 4 Duke and its third ACC regular-season championship ever is a pesky Virginia team Thursday night at 7 at Klöckner Stadium with ambitions of its own to host a first-round matchup in the ACC tournament. Although the Blue Devils prevailed in a defensive showdown the last time the two teams met, Duke has not won in Charlottesville, Va., since 2013. 

The Blue Devils (16-1-0, 9-0-0 in the ACC) earned their 16th straight victory Sunday in a 2-0 win against Syracuse. Kayla McCoy and Imani Dorsey were too much for the Orange to handle, combining for seven shots and five on frame. McCoy put Duke in front early off a through ball from Ella Stevens in just the eighth minute of the match. 

Only 20 minutes later, Dorsey unselfishly handed McCoy the team's scoring lead by assisting McCoy’s 10th goal of the season. The Duke back line, led by seniors Morgan Reid and Schuyler DeBree, had yet another sound performance, helping EJ Proctor and the Blue Devils to their 11th clean sheet in 17 matches.

No. 10 Virginia (10-3-4, 5-1-3) enters the contest on a hot streak of its own, with no losses in more than a month. But scoring has not come easily for the Cavaliers, who average just 1.7 goals per match. 

Virginia has struggled to find a go-to scoring option, with leading scorers Veronica Latsko and Taryn Torres accounting for only six goals each. But Virginia is still capable of scoring in bunches, as shown by its 7-0 beatdown of Pittsburgh earlier this month. Cavalier head coach Steve Swanson will bring in a dangerous Virginia team that can capitalize on any mistakes. 

The Blue Devils must also prepare for a stout Virginia defense that has yet to concede more than two goals in a game all season. The defense is anchored by veteran defenders Megan Reid and Brianna Westrup and freshman goalkeeper Laurel Ivory. The Cavaliers have only surrendered 12 goals on the year, good for a goals-against average ranked 31st in the nation. They are in good companon taking on a Duke team that has allowed only 8 scores. 

To make the match even more intriguing, North Carolina is right at the Blue Devils’ heels in the ACC standings with just one game remaining, with Duke needing a win to lock up first place in the conference tournament beginning this weekend. Although the conference tilt could turn into another defensive showdown, it will feature no shortage of excitement with a program-record winning streak and an ACC title on the line.