DURHAM, N.C. - The fourth-ranked Blue Devil field hockey team opened its 2007 home campaign with a win, as Duke earned its second consecutive shutout victory with a 3-0 triumph over William & Mary on Saturday afternoon at Williams Field.
The Blue Devils got off five shots in the first half before junior Ashley Pultorak netted her first goal of the season at the 29-minute mark on an assist from classmate Laura Suchoski to put Duke ahead, 1-0. WIth Duke’s first shot attempt coming at 7:27, William & Mary did not get off a shot until over 15 minutes into the game, an attempt that would be saved by senior keeper Caitlin Williams.
Up 1-0 at halftime, the Blue Devils held a commanding 6-1 advantage in shots and a 4-1 advantage in penalty corners. Williams recorded one save in the initial stanza, as Tribe goalie Gwen Hunter also made one stop.
At the 52:31 mark, Duke increased its lead to 2-0, as Suchoski found the net off of a penalty corner opportunity to record her first tally of the 2007 season. Junior Marian Dickinson and sophomore Brooke Patterson recorded assists on the play.
The remainder of the contest saw the Blue Devils dominate on both sides of the ball, as the Tribe again got off just one shot attempt for the half. As time expired, Duke drew its 10th penalty corner of the game and, with the help of Dickinson and Patterson, sophomore Amie Survilla converted the opportunity to record her second goal of the season and give the Blue Devils a 3-0 shutout victory.
Williams secured one save on the day to put her season total at 13 over three contests, as the Greenland, N.H., native now boasts a save percentage of .867 and a goals against average of 0.86.
Hunter made two saves on the day for the Tribe, as Duke outshot William & Mary, 15-2. The Blue Devils also outcornered the Tribe by a margin of 10-1.
Duke now controls the all-time series with William & Mary, 18-7-1, as the Blue Devils improve to 2-1 on the year. The loss marks the first of the season for the Tribe (2-1).
“We have said all season that we’re kind-of a work in progress and our goal is to get better every day and fix little things,” said head coach Beth Bozman. “We had a little bit of a let down in the second half today but we recovered from that and managed to score two goals. It’s a process, and we’re moving forward.”
Next up for Duke, is a contest with 10th-ranked and defending Big Ten Champion Iowa on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Williams Field. The Blue Devils will remain on their own turf for four more straight contests following tomorrow’s tilt with the Hawkeyes.
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