The No. 6 Blue Devils (11-4-1) will look to bounce back from a disappointing senior night loss in their final game of the season against non-conference opponent Francis Marion (6-8-1) 2 p.m. Sunday at Koskinen Stadium.
The Patriots are winless on the road and the break from the grueling ACC schedule will allow Duke to build some confidence and momentum in anticipation of the conference tournament the following week.
This non-conference match is late in the season due to the Blue Devils’ consecutive byes at the end of the regular season conference schedule.
Although this game will not affect Duke’s seeding in the conference tournament, the Blue Devils cannot afford another loss, especially one against an unranked opponent, if they hope for a high seed in the NCAA tournament. Duke’s previous losses have all been against ranked teams.
Francis Marion has scored a mere 25 goals this season, just over half of Duke’s 48 goals for 2012. The Patriots are led by Elizabeth Asare and Yasmin Bunter with six goals each. Francis Marion also has conceded 32 goals compared to the 23 that the Blue Devils have let in.
After the loss on her senior night, Blue Devil forward Kim DeCesare spoke of how the emotions after the game against the Tar Heels will light a fire under the team and they will come out stronger in future games. Francis Marion may be a chance for Duke to take out its frustrations.