With one month until the ACC Tournament, Duke has yet to find its momentum in the conference.
The No. 5 Blue Devils (7-2-1, 1-1-1 in the ACC) will look to do just that when they square off against Clemson (5-3-2, 0-3) at 7 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.
“They’re going to be a very defensive-oriented team, so we’re really going to have to break them down from an offensive standpoint,” head coach Robbie Church said. “[It] should be a very competitive game.”
Last week’s 2-2 double-overtime tie to No. 10 Maryland saw the Blue Devils outshoot the Terrapins 22-8.
“We scored two goals, but we left some out there that we should have scored,” Church said. “I thought we played really, really well for a majority of the game. We had a couple breakdowns that ended in the back of our net … I thought that we competed really hard, and I thought we played very well, but we just have to be able to finish the opportunities that are there.”
Finishing and working the ball in the final third will be key this Thursday, Church added.
From a defensive standpoint, senior defender Libby Jandl highlighted the team’s energy against Maryland.
“I think we took a huge step forward,” she said. “We played with more enthusiasm and more emotion than we’ve ever played with, and I think we’re going to carry that over to the Clemson game.”
Jandl also acknowledged the returns of sophomore Kelly Cobb and junior Mollie Pathman. The duo has only played a couple games with the team after beginning the season in Japan at the U-20 World Cup, where the pair won gold for the United States.
“We’re all ecstatic that [they’re] back and they’re only making us deeper and better,” Jandl said.
Cobb, Kim DeCesare and Nicole Lipp have all been dealing with injuries, but their statuses are all improving.
“We’re as healthy as we’ve been in a long time,” Church said.
Clemson comes into Thursday’s game following a 1-0 loss to then-No. 5 Virginia and has not won a game since September 3.