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Weekend wrapup


Blue Devils win, tie in opening weekend matches

The No. 12 women’s soccer team struggled through its two contests against lesser opponents this weekend, eking out an overtime victory over UNC-Greensboro Friday night and tying William & Mary Sunday evening.

Against William & Mary, Duke (1-0-1) dominated the ball for most of the game, but was unable to convert its many scoring chances. The Blue Devils took the game’s only lead at the 37:05 mark of the first half when senior Carolyn Riggs headed home a crossing pass from junior Sarah McCabe.

Duke could not hold its lead long, though, as William & Mary’s Mary Mackenzi headed home a goal of her own just six minutes after Riggs’s tally.

The match stalled afterward, with neither team finding the back of the net throughout all of regulation and two sudden death overtime periods. The Blue Devils controlled the pace and out-shot their opponents, 16-6.

“This is a frustrating loss because we dominated the game in all of the stat categories,” Duke head coach Robbie Church said. “We played well at times and we didn’t play as well as we could at times. We are just having trouble putting the ball in the net and every team goes through spurts like this during the season. We will get better from this, work out way out of it and we will become a better team.”

On Friday night, the Blue Devils were able to overcome their lackluster performance and come away with a victory. Freshman Christie McDonald, playing in her first collegiate contest, scored the game’s only goal with time winding down in the first overtime period.

The scoring opportunity was a rare site compared to most of the game. Duke only mustered two shots on goal in the first half and was unable to keep the ball on its offensive half against a stingy Greensboro defense. After Duke goalie Allison Lipsher made a diving save on a breakaway midway through the second half, the Blue Devils finally turned up their offensive intensity.

But it wasn’t until McDonald nailed her shot into the back of the net after a few deflections that Duke showed why it was supposed to be the better team on the field.

“We are still a work in progress and it is early,” Church said after the match. “UNC Greensboro played great, but we found a way to win and that is the key.”


Blue Devils tie UConn in exhibition

In their final preseason action, the No. 3 Blue Devils played No. 19 Connecticut to a 0-0 tie in Storrs, Conn., Aug. 27.

Neither team mustered much offense. The squads combined for just 14 shots and only three of those were on net. Duke goalkeeper Justin Papadakis only had to make one save in recording the shutout.

Duke only got off one shot in the second half but it was nearly a game-winner. Husky goalkeeper Adam Schuerman was forced to make a diving save on freshman forward Mike Grella’s hard shot with just over two minutes to play.

The Huskies had their chances, too, including two chances from inside the box 14 minutes into the game. Willis Forko’s shot was blocked by a Blue Devil defender and his rebound chance was also thwarted. The Huskies also saw a chance slip away with seven minutes to play, as O’Brian White’s header went wide left by inches.

Duke also failed to score in an 1-0 exhibition loss to UNC-Greensboro, Aug. 20, meaning that they will enter regular season play having failed to score a goal in either of their preseason contests. Head coach John Rennie was not concerned about his team’s offense after the loss to the Spartans, saying, “We know the goals will come if we keep playing the way we did tonight.”

The Blue Devils finished the exhibition season with a 0-1-1 record.


Duke takes Tournament of Champs

Senior field hockey captain Nicole Dudek refused to let her team begin its season in the same way as last year. One year after losing to Michigan State 4-1 in the Champion’s Tournament title game, Dudek scored two goals and assisted on another in Duke’s 3-0 shutout over the Spartans in this year’s final.

Dudek’s first and deciding score came unassisted at the 13:10 mark in the first half. Less than three minutes later she added her second goal of the game, with Katie Grant assisting.

The Blue Devils (2-0) turned the game over to their stellar defense after starting the game out strong, holding Michigan State (1-1) to just seven shots for the entire game. The Spartans made little of their few opportunities, and sophomore Goalie Caitlyn Williams recorded the team's second consecutive shutout.

Freshman Julie Tromp finished off the scoring on a penalty corner at 58:53 in the second half with the first goal of her career. Dudek continued her stellar play in the second half, assisting on Tromp’s score.

Duke advanced to the tournament final by defeating Louisville in dominating fashion 7-0 on Saturday. In her first collegiate game, freshman Marian Dickinson led the balanced Blue Devil attack with three goals as five players scored.

The team will continue its season next Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Delaware.


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