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Sportswrap: Football cruises to 3-0, men's soccer draws at home against North Carolina

Duke football's big win in Durham highlighted a busy week for Blue Devils across the board.
Duke football's big win in Durham highlighted a busy week for Blue Devils across the board.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of Sept. 12-18.

Football

Duke continued its winning ways Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium, taking the lead 15 seconds into its matchup against visiting North Carolina A&T and piling it on for a 49-20 win. It was largely more of the same for the Blue Devils (3-0), who got an efficient performance from sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard and won the turnover battle once again. Now, the Blue Devils head west to Lawrence, Kan., for a battle of unbeaten teams against a surprising Kansas squad. -Jonathan Levitan

Women's soccer

The third-ranked Blue Devils opened their conference season triumphantly on the road Friday against Syracuse, prevailing 1-0 in a down-to-the-wire showdown. That success didn’t come without patience for Duke (6-2, 1-0 in the ACC), as it was not until the 89th minute that junior midfielder Maggie Graham scored the game’s sole goal on a header. Duke next takes on Boston College Thursday evening at Koskinen Stadium before closing its week Sunday at N.C. State. -Ana Young

Men's soccer

No. 5 Duke walked away with a 1-1 tie after its Friday meeting with North Carolina. Junior defender Amir Daley, playing wingback, scored the lone Blue Devil goal in the 10th minute with midfielders Ruben Mesalles and Nick Pariano assisting. Three seconds later, North Carolina scored its goal almost directly off of the kickoff. Despite a distinct lack of scoring, the rest of the game was as tense as a Tobacco Road rivalry game is expected to be. The Tar Heels were dealt 17 fouls, Duke (4-0-1, 1-0-1) was dealt 12, and each team had two on-field yellow cards, as well as one given to the Blue Devil bench. Tuesday, Duke meets Elon on the road before ending the week Saturday against Boston College. -Sasha Richie

Volleyball

The Blue Devils continued their winning streak with home wins against Winthrop and Harvard in their final nonconference weekend of the season. Duke (9-2) defeated Winthrop 3-1 in its Thursday match with Lizzie Fleming and Rachel Richardson combining for 26 kills. Saturday, Duke played again in Cameron Indoor Stadium and swept Harvard. Freshman Taylor Atkinson was the star of the game, leading Duke in kills and aces. The Blue Devils’ victory against Harvard was their ninth straight, good for their longest run since 2014’s 10-match winning streak. Duke starts its conference slate on the road Friday against Syracuse and closes its weekend Sunday at Boston College. -Suresh Kannoth

Field hockey

This was another weekend in which No. 18 Duke notched a win and a loss. Friday, Duke (4-4, 0-1) traveled to Syracuse to face the 10th-ranked Orange. Syracuse beat the Blue Devils 5-1, the same score from Duke’s loss to Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals a season ago. Duke stayed in New York to face Colgate for the first time ever Sunday, arriving with a sense of urgency and cruising to a 10-1 victory against the Raiders. Duke faces Boston College and James Madison University at home next weekend in matches Friday and Sunday, respectively. -Kannoth

Cross country

It was another impressive week for the Blue Devils, who took second in both the men’s and women’s races at Friday’s Virginia Invitational. On the men’s side, senior Zach Kinne led the four Duke runners that finished in the top 10, followed closely by Chris Theodore, Nick Dahl and Matyas Csiki-Fejer. For the women, Emily Cole, Ashlyn Ramos and Karly Forker grabbed spots 8-10, with Anna Corcoran and Katie Hamilton rounding out the scoring. At the Adidas XC Challenge in Raleigh, sophomore Beck Wittstadt grabbed 10th to open his season. It is the second-straight week in which the Blue Devils finished either first or second, but a sterner test awaits Sept. 30 at Lehigh’s Paul Short Invitational. -Andrew Long

Women's golf

Kicking off their fall slate, the Blue Devils finished joint fourth in the 12-team ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Phoebe Brinker, thanks to improved wedge play and her usual length off the tee, led the way for Duke at -6, finishing solo fourth individually. Andie Smith, making her debut as a freshman, was impressive with a second-round 69 en route to a tie for 27th, while Erica Shepherd, Anne Chen and Rylie Heflin finished solo 12th, tied for 41st and tied for 47th, respectively. The Blue Devils now have a roughly two-week break before the Windy City Collegiate Classic starts Oct. 3. -Max Rego

Women's tennis

The Blue Devils opened their fall season over the weekend, with graduate student Georgia Drummy and sophomore Ellie Coleman splitting up from the rest of the team for a trio of Friday matches at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic. Coleman won in singles while Drummy retired in the first set, but the pair combined for a doubles win against Purdue’s duo. Meanwhile, the rest of the team traveled to Furman, S.C., for the Debbie Southern Fall Classic, where the Blue Devils largely struggled on the singles side but found success in doubles—the duo of Chloe Beck and graduate transfer Cameron Morra took home the Doubles Flight 1 Championship with a Saturday win against rival North Carolina. Next up is the ITA All-American Oct. 1-9. -Levitan

Men's tennis

Duke put together a solid showing over the weekend at the Duke James Bonk Invitational and Milwaukee Tennis Classic. Niroop Vallabhaneni defeated two opponents en route to a quarterfinal appearance in the latter event, where he fell to Matisse Bobichon of VCU. In the Bonk Invitational, Andrew Dale and Andrew Zhang teamed up for an impressive doubles run, reaching the final of their draw before losing 7-5 to Miami’s Dan Martin and Juan Jalif. Zhang also played singles, winning three matches en route to a finals appearance versus Martin. -Robert Miron

Softball

Beginning their fall season with a game against North Carolina on the road, the Blue Devils took a 5-2 victory with the strong debuts of freshmen Cassidy Curd and Kairi Rodriguez. Curd tossed three innings while Rodriguez went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. After not facing off in the spring, Duke (1-0) flexed its muscles on the Tar Heels after reaching the NCAA Super Regionals in 2022 as the new season is a few short months away. Up next on the Blue Devils’ slate is a Sept. 25 home matchup with Appalachian State. -Micah Hurewitz

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