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Duke field hockey shuts out Old Dominion to close homestand

Erin Scherrer came off the bench and scored a goal to pad Duke's lead.
Erin Scherrer came off the bench and scored a goal to pad Duke's lead.

Another game resulted in another shutout for the second-ranked Blue Devils, who wrapped up a perfect homestand with their fourth straight victory Sunday.

Duke notched a comfortable 3-0 win against Old Dominion at Jack Katz Stadium, outshooting the Monarchs 17-3. The Blue Devils remained steady against a rare unranked opponent that has played top-tier competition close this season despite its inferior record.

“Our focus is being the best Duke team we can be each week, so we try to play our best game each week,” senior forward Ainsley Gill said. “We want to beat ourselves more than our opponent.”

The Blue Devils controlled the game, keeping possession of the ball for a majority of the contest and holding Old Dominion (4-5) without a shot for the entire second half.

Duke (7-1) opened the scoring by capitalizing on an own goal from the Monarchs in the 12th minute of play to take an early lead. Alexa Mackintire was credited with the goal as the last offensive player to touch the ball. 

With only one game this weekend instead of the usual two, the Blue Devils were more fresh after a full seven days off, and the early lead allowed them to get a lot of their bench involved with more tough ACC opponents looming in the next month.

“This week, we focused a lot on our basic skills and connecting with each other,” Gill said. “That really went into this game and is something we can take into the rest of our season.”

The practice time paid off in Duke's second goal, which came in the 33rd minute of the first half. Junior forward Rose Tynan slipped a pass through a group of Old Dominion defenders to classmate Erin Scherrer, who put it in the back of the net.

In the second half, the Blue Devils built on that momentum, pressuring the Monarchs on their side of the field with nine more shots and earning two penalty corners, though neither resulted in a goal. On the season, Old Dominion concedes almost double the amount of corners that it takes, and it only had one corner to Duke's four Sunday.

Monarch goalkeeper Kealsie Robles had seven saves in the second half, rising to the occasion to keep the score respectable as the Blue Devils became more confident.

“I’m pleased with the way we kept our composure throughout the game and got better as the game went on,” said Duke head coach Pam Bustin, who celebrated her 250th career win with the victory.

The Blue Devils also added a third score midway through the second half to round out their offense on an unassisted goal that Gill drove in from the left side of the cage. 

Duke will have another week of practice before traveling to Massachusetts to take on No. 8 Boston College Friday in an ACC matchup and No. 24 Boston University Sunday.


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