The typically blue and white uniforms were replaced by baby pink jerseys, but the color switch didn't seem to negatively affect Duke.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Duke sported pink jerseys as part of the Under Armour "pink game" series. But despite the lack of Blue Devil colors on the field, No. 5 Duke (10-3) managed to defeat Ohio 4-0 Tuesday at Williams Field.
Coming off a monumental road win over then-No. 1 Maryland Saturday, the Blue Devils were excited to prove the upset wasn't a fluke, but rather the start of a long string of ACC success.
"This was an important game for us, as we are looking to win out the rest of the season," senior forward Ashley Pultorak said. "Coming off of Maryland, which was such a big win, we really wanted to carry that through tonight."
And after a slow offensive start, that's exactly what Duke did. Junior forward Amie Survilla showed leadership early as she scored the Blue Devils' first goal of the night 14 minutes into the game, putting a stop to the inconsistent play that had plagued her teammates.
"We started a little slow," Pultorak said. "But once we put our game plan together, everything moved right along like we wanted it to. It was just a matter of really executing our skills and doing what we're good at."
Working off the momentum that Survilla provided for her team, freshman Megan Deakins and freshman midfielder Rhian Jones scored to keep Ohio (6-8) on the defensive for a majority of the first half. The slow and nervous start didn't seem to faze the team, as it was able to concentrate on its play and post more scores.
"We're trying to make sure that we play the games out fully with no lapses of concentration and that we keep up our level of play no matter who our opponent is," Jones said.
Wanting to remedy the messy first half, the Blue Devils came out for the second half fighting. Pultorak scored on a goal assisted by junior midfielder Karen Jennings. That score, combined with stellar play from sophomore goalie Samantha Nelson, allowed Duke to shut out Ohio, which managed just four shots in the game.
"It's always a total team effort with us," Pultorak said. "Everyone on this team, whether they play two minutes or 70 minutes, matters. All of the players, all of the effort, all of the input it really matters and if our team chemistry continues to work we're going to be golden going into the rest of our season and into the tournament."
But head coach Beth Bozman believes the Blue Devils could have played better-she was disappointed by what she called a "lackluster" start.
For Bozman, it's not just a matter of winning, but rather being the team that it needs to be to make the final four in November.
"You can't just get there, you deserve to be there," Bozman said. "If we play the way we played the first half, we just don't deserve to be there. But if we play the way we did in the second half, we do."
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