DURHAM, N.C.- The Duke field hockey team finished its spring season on a high note with a win and tie over 2011 NCAA runner up and conference rival North Carolina over the weekend.
“I am extremely pleased with this weekend's overall performance by the Blue Devils,” head coach Pam Bustin commented. “Our strong performances throughout the number of high level games we played this spring, highlights the improvement in our fitness, individual skills, and team play.”
Duke started the weekend with a 2-0 win over the Tar Heels at its own Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium Friday evening. Freshman Jessica Buttinger scored both of Blue Devils goals to secure the win. In the first half, the Waterloo, Ontario native scored from the left side, about five yards out, and was assisted by freshman Abby Beltrani. This was the only goal scored in the first half.
In the second half, Buttinger scored her second goal on her own when she was surrounded by an open field and hit the shot up the middle. The Friday night game was good practice for Duke and its fans as it has five Friday night home games this fall.
On Sunday, the Blue Devils traveled down to Chapel Hill, N.C. where they battled the Tar Heels to a 2-2 tie. North Carolina got on the board first with a score off a penalty corner early in the first half. However, Duke responded with a goal by sophomore Brenna Rescigno off its own penalty corner. She was assisted by sophomore Paula Heimbach.
Early in the second half, Buttinger picked up a goal with a 45 degree angle shot to give Duke the 2-1 advantage. However, with about seven minutes to play, the Tar Heels found an open player in front of the net and she executed the score to give the game its final score of 2-2.
“The work from our student-athletes this semester has definitely put our program exactly where we want to be as we head into our summer training. If our expectations for our fall performances remain high, so must each individuals commitment."
This weekend marks the conclusion of Duke’s spring competition. They will return back to action on August 18, 2012 in a preseason scrimmage against Wake Forest. The Blue Devils first home match of the 2012 season is set for Friday, August 31, 2012 against Princeton.