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Recapping the week in Duke Athletics: Football sprints past Syracuse, women's soccer wins again

<p>Duke women's soccer is living up to its billing as one of the best teams in the country.</p>

Duke women's soccer is living up to its billing as one of the best teams in the country.

Each week, we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week, and give a brief look ahead. We continue with the week of Oct. 5.

Football

It finally happened—the Blue Devils not only secured their first win of the season, but they made a statement in their victory against Syracuse. Running backs Deon Jackson and Mataeo Durant both posted career-best days, and after five games, it looks like Duke (1-4, 1-4 in the ACC) has finally found its offensive identity through the run game. On the defensive side, the line consistently got into the backfield and the depleted secondary held up against the gunslinging Tommy DeVito. -Jake Piazza 

Men’s soccer

Duke put together a confidence-boosting win against N.C. State Friday night,  its three goals matching its previous season total and securing the season sweep of the Wolfack. The Blue Devils (2-2, 2-1) are now in second place in the ACC’s South Region, one loss behind North Carolina. This latest win puts Duke in a great position to make the ACC tournament, with the top four teams (out of five) in each region qualifying and N.C. State currently sitting at the basement of the South Region with an 0-3 conference record. -Alex Jackson

Women’s soccer

No. 7 Duke took down Virginia Tech in utterly dominant fashion Friday, despite a mundane 2-0 score. The Blue Devils’ final home game of the regular season kicked off with each starter being introduced by their parents on the jumbotron, and by the end, nearly everyone who played contributed to a 22-2 shot margin (10-0 on goal). The only conference matchup of real consequence left on Duke’s schedule is its Oct. 29 match at Florida State, assuming the Blue Devils can sweep a very light schedule in the northeast this week. -Em Adler

Field hockey

Following a last-minute rescheduling, Duke lost a nail-biter 4-3 Saturday afternoon against Syracuse. Sophomore Hannah Miller led the Blue Devils with two goals, while freshman Alayna Burns added a goal of her own and fellow freshman Darcy Bourne and junior Leah Crouse notched an assist apiece. Duke (0-4, 0-3) sits in the basement of the ACC standings, its next match taking place Sunday at North Carolina after its contest this upcoming Thursday against Boston College due to a positive test and contact tracing on the Eagles’ end. -Evan Kolin

Volleyball

Following a crazy week of COVID-related rescheduling, No. 14 Duke (4-1, 4-1) was able to keep its cool against rival North Carolina in two weekend matches. Although the Blue Devils fell in four sets Friday night, the young group was unfazed in the rematch. Senior outside hitter Payton Schwantz led the team to a gritty win Sunday, moving Duke up to second place in the ACC standings. The team’s next scheduled matches are slated for Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 against Virginia Tech. -Micah Hurewitz

Cross country

The Blue Devil men competed in the N.C. State Invitational Wednesday. But while Duke’s three opponents sent out the majority of their top runners, Blue Devil head coach Rhonda Riley decided to send out only her B-team, noting a tough race 10 days prior and a focus on Friday’s Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational. Riley said the same decisions led to her decision to not compete in the women’s race.

In the end, Duke placed fourth in the meet, with freshman Jack Kovach leading the way at 28th place in the 41-person race. Following Friday’s meet, the Blue Devils will look toward the ACC Championships Oct. 30. -Kolin

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