The Blue Devils nearly became NCAA champions for the first time in 2015—before they get their next shot at national bragging rights, they will try their hand at international competition.
Duke will travel to China June 2-9 to play a Chinese university team in a friendship game in Beijing as guests of China's Federation of University Sports during the seventh annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. The Blue Devils will be the first college team to visit China as part of the program.
“It is an honor for Duke women’s soccer to travel to China and play in the friendship games in Beijing,” Duke head coach Robbie Church said in a press release. “China’s soccer teams play at a very high level, and we expect a good match. We’re looking forward to representing Duke University and NCAA soccer.”
The Blue Devils are no strangers to international competition. Rising senior Rebecca Quinn is currently not enrolled at the University to train with Team Canada in preparation for this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rising sophomore Taylor Racioppi, rising junior Morgan Reid and rising seniors Christina Gibbons and Toni Payne have all played internationally with USA Soccer.
Ties between Duke and China have expanded in recent years, most notably with the construction of Duke Kunshan University. The campus in Kunshan, China, opened in Fall 2014.
“The United States and China enjoy a rich history of relationship building through sports,” Duke President Richard Brodhead said in the release. “I'm proud to have the Duke women’s soccer team serve as ambassadors for both the university and our country through this trip.”
Duke missed the ACC tournament last season but caught fire in the NCAA tournament, beating two No. 1 seeds—Stanford and Florida State—to reach the College Cup title game, where the Blue Devils lost 1-0 to Penn State.
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