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Recapping the week in Duke Athletics: Women's soccer can't overcome UNC, field hockey wins first match

Duke field hockey has consistently improved over the course of this season, finally snagging its first win this past weekend.
Duke field hockey has consistently improved over the course of this season, finally snagging its first win this past weekend.

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. 19.

Men’s soccer

Duke (2-4, 2-3 in the ACC) went toe to toe with No. 2 Wake Forest Friday, but ultimately fell 2-1. After back-to-back competitive losses against top-ranked teams, first in overtime against No. 3 Clemson last week and then this past weekend against the Demon Deacons, the Blue Devils will turn their focus toward finishing in the final stretch of matches. Duke sits fourth in the ACC South region, six points ahead of N.C. State for the final spot in the ACC tournament, with one conference match remaining at No. 5 North Carolina Nov. 6. Before then, however, the Blue Devils will face off against No. 4 Kentucky in a nonconference rematch Friday.  -Ramona Naseri

Women’s soccer

It’s like déjà vu all over again for the fourth-ranked Blue Devils. Once again they played impressively against the top-ranked Tar Heels, and once again they came up ever so short. Despite the loss, Duke’s defense remains arguably the best in the nation, the midfield looks surprisingly strong and the offense appears to be emerging for the first time since Imani Dorsey was running the show three years ago. If this season has demonstrated anything, it’s that the gap between the Blue Devils (5-2-2, 3-1-2) and the very best in the nation is as small as it’s ever been. That statement will be put to the test again as Duke faces off against No. 2 Florida State Thursday. -Em Adler

Field hockey

After an impressive showing last week against powerhouse North Carolina, the Blue Devils (1-6, 0-4) finally snagged their first win of the season this past weekend, taking one of their two matches against Wake Forest. It was the newcomers who led the way, with freshman Darcy Bourne and graduate transfer Eva Nunnink each notching their first goal of the season in a 2-0 win Sunday. Duke remains in the basement of the ACC standings, though, with one match remaining this coming Saturday against Virginia. -Evan Kolin

Volleyball

Duke (5-2, 5-2) won one of its two matches over the weekend against Virginia Tech. After a two-week break, the 14th-ranked Blue Devils struggled out of the gate Saturday night, dropping two straight sets. Despite a valiant comeback to tie the match at 2-2, Duke fell in the fifth and final set by a mere two points. The Blue Devils returned to the court the following night with a tighter defense and redeemed themselves with a swift 3-1 victory. Leading the charge Sunday was junior Ade Owokoniran with 18 kills and senior Payton Schwantz with 19 digs. Duke sits tied for third in the ACC standings, with its final match of the season coming Friday against Virginia. -Christian Olsen

Duke football as well as the Blue Devils’ men’s and women’s cross country teams did not compete this past week. Football takes on Charlotte Saturday at 7 p.m., while cross country will finish its season with the ACC Championships Friday morning.

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