While Duke is averaging 3.1 goals per game this season, the team is coming off its second scoreless performance this year after falling 1-0 to No. 6 Virginia.
The high-powered Blue Devil attack will look to rebound against one of the nation’s premier defenses, as No. 7 Duke (8-3-1, 2-2-1 in the ACC) faces No. 18 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. tonight at 7 p.m.
“[Virginia] gave a lot of people some time to reflect and look at themselves in the mirror and ask: Am I doing everything I can to help this team win?” junior defender Natasha Anasi said. “It was one of those games that was in reach and to let a game like that slip away is never fun.”
The Hokies (10-2, 2-2) come fresh off their nation-leading ninth shutout, when they defeated No. 12 Maryland 1-0 this past Sunday.
“It’s going to be a real challenge for our offense. You have one of the top offenses in the country going up against one of the top defenses in the country,” Duke head coach Robbie Church said. “I believe in our attacking players. I know our attacking players were disappointed because they were shut out for only the second time this year.”
Church highlighted combination play, changing the point of attack, and finishing in the final third as keys to the game. Duke took 19 shots against Virginia, though just four of them were on goal. The Blue Devils will be without sophomore Kelly Cobb, last season’s leading scorer, for the second straight game as she nurses a leg injury.
“I think it’s going to take a collective effort, and it’s also going to take us to focus on not only our defensive game but also our offensive game,” Anasi said. “I think that we’re putting bits and pieces together in different places, but we’re not able to formulate a full 90 minutes.”