Duke is in the midst of the best stretch in program history, racking up its 12th straight win Thursday against N.C. State. 

But the Blue Devils will have little time to prepare for one of their toughest tests yet.

No. 4 Duke will match up with No. 14 Florida State Sunday afternoon at 1 at Koskinen Stadium. The Seminoles also played Thursday and have held three consecutive opponents scoreless with a stingy defense.

“I thought overall we played really well,” Blue Devil head coach Robbie Church said after Thursday’s game. “Defensively, offensively, in the second half we tried to sit in a little bit, tried to hold the spaces.”

The Duke defense has been the linchpin driving the record win streak. It has only allowed five goals throughout the 12 games, and two of those came in a tough road overtime win over Louisville. Senior goalkeeper EJ Proctor has been key to this effort, only allowing 0.56 goals per game this season. 

“There are no easy wins in our conference," Proctor said. "That keeps us on our toes and kind of helps us keep it going.” 

The Blue Devil backline was its usual self against the Wolfpack, only allowing four shots on goal for the entire match and making sure that Proctor was not overly tested. It will be counted on to continue this dominant play Sunday, as the Seminoles (9-2-0, 4-1-0 in the ACC) have an explosive offense that averages more than two goals a game. 

Florida State’s main threat is sophomore forward Deyna Castellanos, who has already notched 10 goals this season, good for eighth in the country. Castellanos excels at getting into dangerous positions and has taken a team-high 48 shots. The Seminoles also have a wide range of players capable of creating chances, with five players who have multiple assists. 

“Obviously, FSU is a great team, so we’re going to just need to stay organized and stick to whatever the game plan is,” Proctor said. 

A piece of good news for Duke (12-1-0, 5-0-0) is that leading scorer Imani Dorsey returned to action Thursday and played a half after missing the previous match against Louisville. The senior is dealing with a nagging injury that may linger for the rest of the season, but is playing through the pain. 

“We tried to get [Imani] to go and she went some and was still sore, and then when we scored another goal, it was time to close her down and see if we can get her back for Florida State,” Church said. “She’s not healthy and she’ll probably have a little maintenance on her for the rest of the year.”

Junior forward Kayla McCoy has stepped up in Dorsey's absence, racking up two goals and an assist in the last three games. Her goal against the Wolfpack came after she picked the ball up at midfield and ran past the entire defense before slotting a shot calmly past the keeper from a tough angle. 

McCoy may be counted on again to lead the attack against Florida State, but it will take a team effort to penetrate a tough defense that has only allowed multiple goals once this season and not at all in the last month. The Blue Devils have dominated the midfield throughout their winning streak, and that will be essential again to keep the pressure on the opposing defense.  

“Our midfield is very talented,” Church said. “It’s definitely the deepest part of our team which is good because the engines are going back and forth, but I think they’re creative.... We’re making really good decisions and playing really well.”