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Blue Devils search for morale-boosting wins

Junior Sarah Schoffstall and Duke look to avenge an overtime loss to Old Dominion Sunday in Norfolk, Va.
Junior Sarah Schoffstall and Duke look to avenge an overtime loss to Old Dominion Sunday in Norfolk, Va.

After falling to the top two teams in the nation last weekend, the Blue Devils look to bounce back when they travel to William and Mary (5-9) and No. 20 Old Dominion this weekend.  

Though the scorebook counts two losses, head coach Beth Bozman sees last weekend’s games as a turning point for the team.

“They were emotional losses, but they were emotional victories too because we felt like we really turned a corner,” Bozman said.  “We played an exceptional game against UNC so we feel that if we can carry this momentum, we will be in good shape.”

Despite the setbacks, the team is still ranked 15th in the country. With the NCAA tournament selection approaching, Bozman stressed the importance of every game.

“Every game is critical at this point of the season,” Bozman said. “One game could make a difference.”

With this attitude in mind, Duke (6-7) will strive to maintain its level of play this weekend as it travels to the state of Virginia.  The Blue Devils already faced Old Dominion (6-8) earlier this season and came away with a 3-2 overtime loss at home, despite dominating play offensively.

Duke outshot the Monarchs 28-11 and led in penalty corners, 15-6. However, the Blue Devils were unable to finish, a problem that Bozman thinks the team is better equipped to handle at this point in the season.

“I think we are a much better team now then we were then. This time we hope to finish with a win,” Bozman said.

The Blue Devils’ leading scorer, Amie Survilla, has tallied 19 goals this season, and is second in the country in goals per game with nearly 1.5. Duke’s record, however, doesn’t reflect Survilla’s offensive statistics.

At this critical point in the season, the team is not taking any opponent lightly. Bozman said the team’s mentality will be the same as last weekend—the only difference being that the Blue Devils will not be facing the top two teams in the nation.

“We think we are at a good place now as a team, so we are going to try to continue developing and playing at this level,” Bozman said.

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