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Sportswrap: Football stays unbeaten, men's and women's soccer combine for winless week

Duke women's soccer surrendered two late goals to Notre Dame for its first conference loss of the year.
Duke women's soccer surrendered two late goals to Notre Dame for its first conference loss of the year.

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. 18-24.

Football

In its first road test of the 2023 season, No. 17 Duke continued to excel early in the campaign, as the Blue Devils dismantled UConn 41-7 in East Hartford, Conn., Saturday afternoon. It was a dominant performance all around from head coach Mike Elko’s squad, as Duke (4-0, 1-0 in the ACC) torched the Huskies (0-4) through the air and on the ground, with Riley Leonard going 23-of-34 for 248 yards and a touchdown while also adding a score on the ground. UConn was stifled by the Blue Devil defense all day, scoring for the first time late in the fourth quarter. Up next for Duke is its biggest challenge yet, as ESPN College GameDay will come to town to watch the undefeated Blue Devils take on No. 11 Notre Dame this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. -Caleb Dudley

Men’s soccer 

After having a 23-game regular season unbeaten streak broken by Clemson last week, the 11th-ranked Blue Devils continued to slide in a Sunday afternoon game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels triumphed 2-1 in a grueling physical matchup that saw 15 bookings handed out for 36 fouls. While Duke (4-2-1) struck first, the home squad roared back to put up two goals in the first half to jump ahead, clinging to its lead in the second half to escape with a win after going down to 10 men on a second-period ejection. The Blue Devils will have a chance to bounce back against Charleston Tuesday before another big-time matchup versus No. 7 Syracuse in Durham Friday. -Martin Heintzelman

Women’s soccer

After opening ACC competition with a win against Boston College, the 16th-ranked Blue Devils returned home this week for matchups against No. 10 Notre Dame and N.C. State. Tackling the Fighting Irish Thursday, Duke (5-3-1, 1-1-1) lost in a 2-1 heartbreaker, with both Notre Dame goals coming in the final five minutes of play. Kat Rader, who has made herself somewhat of a queen at Koskinen Stadium, added the lone tally for the Blue Devils. With a chance at redemption Sunday against the Wolfpack, Duke fell short in a 0-0 tie. Head coach Robbie Church’s squad has a tough matchup ahead of it, going on the road to face off against No. 22 Virginia Sunday in hopes of earning a second ACC win. -Mackenzie Sheehy

Field hockey

On Friday night, the fifth-ranked Blue Devils took on Boston College at the Eagles’ home stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass., securing a 2-1 win to start the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, they did it again — this time with a 3-2 victory at Harvard. Both games took Duke (8-1, 2-0) into double overtime, a product of the tough defensive efforts put on by both ends in each game. For the Blue Devils, this effort was led by senior goalie Piper Hampsch, who was tabbed NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week Wednesday. Duke will aim for a seven-game win streak Friday at home against Wake Forest. -Sophie Levenson

Cross country

On Saturday, Duke competed at the Virginia Invitational with mixed results. The women’s team placed 12th out of 23 teams in the 5k race, led by junior Amina Maatoug’s seventh-place finish in her season debut, with a personal-best time of 16:27.5. The graduate trio of Emily Cole, Karly Forker and Julia Fenerty also notched personal-best times in Charlottesville, Va., rounding out the Blue Devils’ top five with senior Charlotte Tomkinson. The men’s squad didn’t enjoy the same success, finishing in 18th in the 8k. Senior Austin Gabay, however, earned a 42nd-place finish with a time of 23:56.8. Duke next competes at the Nuttycombe Invitational and the ECU Pirate Cross Country Invitational Oct. 13 and 14, respectively. -Tyler Walley

Volleyball

The Blue Devils opened up ACC play this week with matchups against both No. 8 Pittsburgh and Virginia. The Panthers, who traveled to the Final Four last season, defeated Duke (10-3, 1-1) quickly in three straight sets Friday night. The Blue Devils only hit .190 for the match, but recorded eight serving aces. On Sunday afternoon, Duke rebounded from the 3-0 loss by defeating the Cavaliers 3-0. Graduate student Gracie Johnson recorded 12 kills and 10 digs Sunday, followed by graduate student Lizzie Fleming and sophomore Kerry Keefe, who each recorded 10 kills. Duke travels to the Sunshine State this week to continue ACC play against Miami and Florida State. -Anna Newberry  

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