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Nielsen, Ferger key 2 road wins

Mary Nielsen (3, right) scored twice as Duke went 2-0 over the weekend in Virginia.
Mary Nielsen (3, right) scored twice as Duke went 2-0 over the weekend in Virginia.

With the NCAA tournament in sight, the Blue Devils traveled to Virginia this past weekend and came away with two convincing wins over William and Mary and No. 20 Old Dominion. No. 15 Duke was determined to create scoring opportunities for more players and succeeded as five different Blue Devils got on the scoresheet.

“End-of-the-season performance is one of the criteria for the tournament, so it’s always important,” head coach Beth Bozman said. “I think it’s important also from a psychological standpoint. We’ve known all season that we’re very young, but that we’re a talented team. We’ve come up short in a lot of games that could have gone either way, and I think what’s happening now is we’re really believing that we’re talented and we’ll win every game.”

The Blue Devils’ confidence was evident Saturday against William and Mary (5-10) as they scored three goals in the first half. Junior Susan Ferger began the scoring with an unassisted goal after 11 minutes of play, while freshman Mary Nielsen notched the first of her two goals off a pass from senior Amie Survilla a few minutes later. Sophomore Jordan Miller tallied another score late in the first period and Nielsen added another goal in the second period.

“We’ve been talking to people about a lot of the burden falling on Amie Survilla, and we really needed other people to step up and get more scoring opportunities,” Bozman said. “Today, Susan Ferger took more shots than Amie did and that was one of our goals. We can’t win these games with one attack player.”

Duke (8-7) had a chance to avenge a loss earlier in the season against Old Dominion (6-10) Sunday. Once again the Blue Devils dominated every aspect of the game, outshooting the Lady Monarchs 16-4 and creating more penalty corners, one of which resulted in the first goal of the game from senior Lauren Miller. Ferger and Survilla each added another score later in the game. Ferger’s second goal of the weekend was her eighth score of the year, second on the team behind Survilla.

“It shows the work ethic we have on the team. There’s not just one person who can come up and score every goal because not one person is going to be on every single game,” Miller said.

Although Old Dominion sophomore Rachel Stream managed to score a goal late in the game, it wasn’t enough, as the Blue Devils won 3-1.

“[Getting two wins] is always a good confidence builder and that’s something we’ve been needing since we haven’t had a 2-0 weekend since the first weekend,” Miller said.

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