The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke field hockey looks to get back on track against a pair of top-10 opponents

<p>The Blue Devils will need to rely on guidance from upperclassmen like senior Caroline Andretta to hold off two talented teams from the Northeast.</p>

The Blue Devils will need to rely on guidance from upperclassmen like senior Caroline Andretta to hold off two talented teams from the Northeast.

Following a tough loss last weekend against fourth-ranked Maryland, Duke Field Hockey looks to turn it around this weekend with a pair of top-10 matchups looming. 

The No. 3 Blue Devils will go on the road this weekend and are set to take on No. 6 Princeton Friday at 4 p.m. before facing fifth-ranked Penn State in a neutral-site battle in Philadelphia Sunday morning. With a week to re-group, Duke will look to regain its win streak and put its first loss of the season in the rearview mirror. Princeton and Penn State will certainly provide more top tests for the Blue Devils—the pair of top-10 teams went to battle Tuesday, where Princeton came out with a 2-1 double overtime victory.  

Against the Tigers (2-1) Friday, the Blue Devils will need to push the ball to come out on top. In Princeton's matchup with Penn State, goalkeeper Grace Baylis only had one save, despite 12 penalty corners in the second period alone. Princeton’s ability to lock down its opponents— evidenced by only letting up a pair of goals against in three games—will put the pressure on the Blue Devil offense. Duke was unable to get on the scoreboard against Maryland until Junior Haley Schleicher scored off a penalty shot midway into the second half.  

On defense, the Blue Devils (3-1) will have to watch out for Princeton senior Sophia Tornetta, who notched a goal Tuesday. Thus far this season, Princeton's lone loss came in a close 1-0 loss to North Carolina to start the season; the Tigers proceeded to knock off Wake Forest 4-0 in their following match. Friday's matchup should provide Duke with a test on the road that will also be a valuable tool moving forward. 

The Blue Devils will close out the weekend in Philadelphia against Penn State, who is also coming off their first loss of the season against Princeton. The Nittany Lions will have an easier start to the weekend with a game against Kent State before facing off against Duke. 

Penn State (2-1) has proven it can shoot, so the Blue Devils will need to lock down on defense if they want to keep the Nittany Lions off the board. Lead by true freshman Anna Simon, who notched two goals in a 4-0 win over Temple where the Nittany Lions attempted 42 shots, Penn State has shown the ability to be an offensive powerhouse early on. Princeton, however, was able to lock down the Nittany Lions—and pushed the game into overtime—so Duke will need to do the same if it wants to come away victorious. 

For the Blue Devils to emerge with a pair of wins this weekend, Duke will especially need to push the ball, get on the scoreboard early, lock down on defense and prevent two teams who like to shoot from finding the back of the net. If the Blue Devils can do that, it'll go a long way in helping them rebound from their first loss of the season and getting back on track. 

Discussion

Share and discuss “Duke field hockey looks to get back on track against a pair of top-10 opponents ” on social media.