Coming off an impressive 2-0 victory at Miami Thursday evening, the Blue Devils have an opportunity to extend their winning streak to eight games this weekend.

No. 12 Duke will host No. 4 Virginia Sunday at 2 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium hoping to continue its impressive run of three consecutive clean sheets—the latest of which featured a key penalty save from goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn. The strong defense seems to have also spurred the Blue Devil attack, which has totaled 10 goals across its past four games.

Duke came out quickly against Miami, forcing a save only eight minutes into the match. After a period of sustained pressure, the game became more tightly contested in the midfield area of the pitch, but the Blue Devils eventually got on the score sheet through on a breakaway goal from sophomore Tess Boade in the 44th minute. A similarly strong start in the second half saw Duke pull away with senior Taylor Racioppi’s fifth goal of the season in the 59th minute. The Blue Devil defense then stepped up, withstanding Miami’s increased attack until the match’s conclusion.

Duke head coach Robbie Church praised his team after the game, but his focus remains firmly fixed on the Blue Devils’ upcoming opponents. 

“You have to have a short memory in the ACC,” Church warned. “We’ve put this one in the back of our minds and we’ve moved on to Virginia.” 

With only two days between games, Duke is emphasizing short-term recovery ahead of Sunday. Church says that the Blue Devils will “stay off their legs as much as possible” over the next two days, instead going over video to analyze their opponents.

Sunday’s game poses a daunting challenge as Duke (8-1-1, 2-0 in the ACC) takes on the Cavaliers, who look to shake off their first loss of the season against Clemson Thursday. Church stressed that the loss would not affect Virginia’s performance Sunday.

“They’re a good team, win or lose, coming our way," Church said. "One of the top teams in the country either way, so [their loss] won’t have a bearing on our game.”

Virginia’s offense has looked unstoppable throughout this season. The Cavaliers have averaged an impressive 21.5 shots per game with a shot on goal percentage of 41.3 en route to scoring multiple goals in six of their eight games thus far. Some of their more dominating recent victories include a 5-1 win over Hofstra and a 6-0 win against Liberty. 

Virginia (7-1-0, 0-1-0) boasts a trio of players with three goals on the season in Betsy Brandon, Rebecca Jarrett and Brianna Westrup. Taryn Torres is also tied for the team lead with seven points, feeding the scoring with a team-high three assists.

"Their attack is obviously a very good attack, and their movement off the ball is good," Church said. "It's a task for our whole defensive group.... Their movement can cause problems so we've just got to be aware of that."

Nonetheless, Church looks forward to the matchup as the Blue Devils head into a more challenging portion of their schedule. He also views the game as a chance for Duke to validate its position as a strong competitor in the ACC.

“Anytime Duke and Virginia play in women’s soccer, it’s something that a lot of people enjoy because of a similar style that they play,” Church said. “I think people have said, ‘Oh, Duke’s won a lot but they really haven’t beat people,’ so here’s an opportunity to play a well-coached side, one of the top teams in the country. I think everybody’s really looking forward to it.”

Following Sunday's matchup, the Blue Devils will go on the road to take on N.C. State in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday at 7 p.m.