Sportswrap: Football, women's basketball drop weekend games, men's soccer, field hockey exit postseason

Players huddle after Duke's Final Four loss to Northwestern Friday afternoon.
Players huddle after Duke's Final Four loss to Northwestern Friday afternoon.

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 Nov. 13-19:


After suffering a heartbreaking loss last week against rival North Carolina, Duke took another lump on the road, falling 30-27 to Virginia Saturday. The Blue Devils (6-5, 3-4 in the ACC) could simply never pull away from the Cavaliers, as Virginia quarterback Anthony Colandrea put together a great game, outdueling Duke freshman gunslinger Grayson Loftis. Malik Washington was also excellent for the home team, going for eight catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the program’s single-season receiving yards record in the process. Duke falls to 6-5 on the season and will have one more chance to pick up a victory before moving on to the postseason, as it will welcome Pittsburgh to town Saturday for Senior Day. -Caleb Dudley

Men’s basketball

No. 9 Duke had a good week. After the loss to Arizona, it rebounded with fervor against Michigan State, winning 74-65. Freshman guard Caleb Foster erupted off the bench for 18 points and the team as a whole finally found some success on the defensive glass, grabbing 27 boards. The improvement continued through Friday evening as the Blue Devils (3-1) took down Bucknell 90-60 on 20 points from sophomore forward Mark Mitchell and a double-double from freshman Jared McCain (17 points, 10 rebounds). Duke stays in Cameron Indoor Stadium to close out the Blue Devil Challenge Tuesday against La Salle. -Rachael Kaplan

Women’s basketball

It was a rough week for the Blue Devils, who dropped two out of their three games. While Duke (3-2) managed to come out on top of a 66-62 nail-biter at Columbia, the Blue Devils faltered in a 69-62 defeat at home against Davidson. In the final game of the week, Duke managed to take No. 6 Stanford to overtime behind a dominant 22-point performance from sophomore guard Ashlon Jackson before ultimately falling 82-79. The Blue Devils will take a week-long hiatus before facing N.C. Central at home Sunday. -Martin Heintzelman

Field hockey

It was a heartbreaking end to the season for the third-seeded Blue Devils as they fell 2-1 in the NCAA tournament semifinals to Northwestern Friday afternoon. After defeating Syracuse, Duke (18-5, 5-1) took on the second-seeded Wildcats in its first Final Four since 2015, finishing just short of the mark after being outshot 20-4. In addition, Duke received one penalty corner to Northwestern’s 10, giving the Wildcats a significant offensive advantage. While a heartbreaking end to their Cinderella season, the Blue Devils still have much to be proud of and exceeded their expectations for 2023. Up next is a long offseason of well-earned rest. -Anna Newberry 

Men’s soccer

It was also a heartbreaking end to the season for Duke men’s soccer, who fell with the same 2-1 result that field hockey did. The 15th-seeded Blue Devils (11-4-3, 4-3-1) struggled into an overtime battle against unseeded but tough Western Michigan, whose physicality ultimately beat down Duke at home in Koskinen Stadium. The season ends abruptly in just the second round of the NCAA tournament; with it, a number of collegiate careers end, too. Twelve of the team’s players are either seniors or graduate students — and though some may stay to finish out eligibility, most of them saw the last of the soccer field Sunday afternoon. Still, an 11-4-3 campaign is nothing to scoff at, and the Blue Devils’ eyes now turn to the offseason. -Sophie Levenson

Cross country

The cross country season finished on a high note for Duke Saturday. For the first time in program history, a Blue Devil placed in the top 10 at the national championship meet. It was, of course, Amina Maatoug, whose junior season also included second place at the ACC Championships and a new personal best. The Leiden, Netherlands, native took ninth place on the Panorama Farms Course in Charlottesville, Va., beating out more than 200 other runners and keeping pace with the fastest legs in the country. She will keep running all year, next up Dec. 2 with the start of the indoor track and field season. -Levenson

Swimming and diving

Duke made a splash this weekend as it traveled to both the N.C. State Invite in Greensboro and Tennessee Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn. Ali Pfaff, Kaelyn Gridley, Aleyna Ozkan and Sarah Foley teamed up to beat the Blue Devils’ 400-yard medley relay record by two one-hundredths of a second, while Gridley snagged the school’s 100-yard breaststroke record and Pfaff secured the 200-yard backstroke record. Blake Johnson, the only male Duke swimmer to qualify for an individual A-final, finished eighth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.86. On the diving end, junior Margo O’Meara secured second place in the 1-meter dive with a score of 315.75, while four other divers placed in the top 10. The team will look to build upon this success when it travels to the Toyota U.S. Open in two weeks. -Abby DiSalvo


After last week’s 3-0 loss at No. 5 Louisville, the Blue Devils headed on the road again for a Friday night match at Virginia. This night was different though, and Duke (19-9, 10-7) left Charlottesville with a straight-set win behind double-digit kills by both graduate student Gracie Johnson and sophomore Kerry Keefe. The Blue Devils continued their success Sunday, where the program honored its seniors before the final home match of the year against Clemson. Duke utilized a strong, energetic start and battled through a tough third set to defeat the Tigers 3-0. Johnson, Keefe and junior Rachel Richardson led the way, in all hitting .360 to Clemson’s .228. The weekend sweep improved the Blue Devils to 19-9 on the year and 10-7 in ACC play, and they will face one more test in the regular season against North Carolina in Chapel Hill Friday afternoon. -Ryan Hamner


At the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia Sunday, Duke struggled to replicate its strong showing a week prior where it had picked up its first wins of the season. Despite fielding 15 wrestlers in 10 different weight classes, only three Blue Devils won their opening round matchups, and only two reached at least the championship quarterfinals of their weight class. Senior Jack Wimmer (174 lbs) was one of the sole bright spots for Duke (2-4) during an otherwise torrid day, wrestling strongly throughout and ultimately reaching the championship semifinals. Sophomore captain Gaetano Console (165 lbs) also put in a strong performance with three victories on the day. Up next is a Dec. 8 duel with Davidson. -Rodrigo Amare


The Blue Devil fencers had yet another strong showing Sunday at the Elite Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. No. 9 Duke faced several top-ranked opponents over the weekend and proved its capability to compete with the very best. On the women’s side, the Blue Devils pulled off an upset to defeat No. 2 Notre Dame 17-10 in round six of the tournament. The men also impressed with their early victories against Stanford and Cleveland State. Standout performances included senior co-captain Christina Ferrari in foil and freshman Samir Travers in saber. The Blue Devils will look to sustain this early momentum as they look towards their next meet in January 2024. -Emily Wang


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