The Blue Devils decimated Radford in a lopsided victory in which their dynamic offense dominated the Highlanders, leaving Duke's defense with little to do.
No. 9 Duke beat unranked Radford 6-0 Sunday at Jack Katz Stadium. Duke fired off 37 shots on goal to the Highlanders' two.
The team’s performance was an improvement after its 3-2 loss to Northwestern Friday, head coach Pam Bustin said.
“Today we came out taking much better care of the ball,” she said. “One of the things we wanted to improve on from Friday were our basic skills. I thought we were a little more deliberate and a lot more disciplined in how we took care of the ball on both sides of the stick and the passing game.”
The Blue Devils (6-2) overwhelmed Radford’s defense from the beginning of the game and netted three of their goals in the first 20 minutes of the game. Though Highlander goalkeeper Sidney Encarnacion made 13 saves, Radford (2-6) struggled to maintain possession and was never able to stop the Blue Devils from setting the pace of the game.
The Blue Devils received a balanced scoring effort from Cherry Seaborn, Brenna Rescigno, Jessica Buttinger, Hannah Barreca, Devon Gagliardi and Heather Morris, who each added a tally on the afternoon.
“Coming from a disappointing game on Friday, I think it was good we didn’t let it phase us,” Seaborn said. “The stats show we’re really getting up and getting our shots off.”
Although Duke's defense had few chances for action during the game, it was effective at keeping Radford out of the circle and away from scoring opportunities. Senior forward Emmie Le Marchand said that was something the team has been working on following its loss to the Widlcats.
The Blue Devils allowed no shots on goal from Radford in the second half of the game.
“Friday we were really frustrated by the number of penalty corners we gave up defensively,” Le Marchand said. “At this level, you just can’t afford to do that. Our goal and shot stats were fantastic today, but you also have to look at the fact that we didn’t give up a single penalty corner.”
The first half was marked by flurries of activity from the Blue Devil forwards, but although the dynamic of the game put the most pressure on Duke’s offense, Le Marchand said that the amount of action was a welcome change from most games.
“I think it’s exciting,” she said. “The forwards get on the ball the least time of every one on the field, so when we get a game like this it's exciting because we’re getting more touches than we ever do. Who doesn’t like a game where you get to score a bunch of goals?”