You don’t get to the ACC semifinals without elite talent, and now three Blue Devils have been formally recognized as such.
The ACC announced its All-ACC teams Friday afternoon. Sophomore midfielder Sophie Jones, junior defender/forward Delaney Graham and senior defender Taylor Mitchell were named to the conference's first, third and third teams respectively.
Jones' first-team nod is the highest honor for a Blue Devil since forward Kayla McCoy’s first-team award in 2018, and the highest for a Blue Devil midfielder since Rebecca Quinn’s first-team award in 2017. Jones, a box-to-box mid, recorded two assists this season while leading the Duke attack and buttressing the mid line on defense. Her passing this season was second-to-none.
Graham was honored as a defender despite her moving to forward before the North Carolina game Sept. 27, though she’s continued to play left wing back during certain substitutions. Her ability to mark up on the flank rivals any full-back in the ACC, even in her limited minutes there over the past month-and-a-half, and she finished the season with two goals and one assist on nine shots.
Mitchell has played nearly every minute this season, only missing the second half of the Syracuse blowout when most of Duke’s starters were pulled after halftime. The ACC is replete with elite centre backs, but Mitchell’s all-around ability has placed her firmly in the conversation as one of the top defenders in the nation.
Each member of this trio was previously tabbed to conference honors: Jones was a 2019 All-Freshman, Graham was a 2018 All-Freshman and a 2019 All-ACC second team, and Mitchell was a 2017 All-Freshman.