No. 4 Duke field hockey escapes weekend slate against Virginia, James Madison unbeaten

Freshman back Josephine Veen passes the ball up against Old Dominion.
Freshman back Josephine Veen passes the ball up against Old Dominion.

The Blue Devils traveled to the historic state of Virginia this weekend, looking to make history. And history they made. Sunday’s win against James Madison marked their 10th-straight win, the longest streak in program history. Duke won 4-2, a dominant showing from the start.

The fourth-ranked Blue Devils came out the gates confident, scoring within the first three minutes of the game. Junior midfielder Kira Curland led the play, pushing the ball inside to graduate forward Hannah Miller. Miller sent the ball across the cage, where junior Logan Clouser tipped it in for the first goal of the night.

After the game, head coach Pam Bustin emphasized the importance of the team starting out aggressively — Duke (12-1, 4-0 in the ACC) reflected that beyond just its offense, demonstrating high intensity on the defensive end, holding James Madison (3-9) without a shot in the first quarter.

Despite the strong start, the Blue Devils went cold in the second quarter, failing to convert any of their three penalty corners. Duke was able to keep the pressure up in the third quarter off of a penalty corner inserted by Miller. Sophomore midfielder Macy Szukics put the ball inside the circle, and sophomore Brynn Crouse was there for the redirect to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead. Less than three minutes later, Miller was on the board herself as her cross-goal shot snuck in the opposite corner.

That stretch really emphasized in a nutshell the best parts of Duke’s offense — being fast in transition and sharing the ball. Bustin shared that while her team cannot envision every game being as easy for them in the open field, it depends on the options presented by the opposing defense. Bustin also described how once the defense started pressing up high, that allowed Duke to adjust and show more speed in its transition to contribute to more attempts on the other end.

Duke’s Friday evening win came courtesy of a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 8 Virginia. Against the Cavaliers (7-5, 1-3), the Blue Devils were down 1-0 in the fourth quarter, when senior captain Charlie van Oirschot passed to Curland for the game-tying goal with just more than two minutes to play in regulation.

Duke had to show its best efforts in a short amount of time. It did just that, with senior goalie Piper Hampsch turning it up on the defensive end with back-to-back saves within the first two minutes. Ultimately, van Oirschot did it again, intercepting a pass on the defensive end and dribbling around defenders for an unassisted, game-winning goal. The ninth-straight victory tied the longest win streak in program history, a mark that it broke three days later.

Duke comes back home next weekend to face No. 5 Louisville Friday at 4 p.m., and it has a rematch with Virginia Sunday at 3:30 p.m.


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