Duke, opening its 2013 season Feb. 9 against Denver, returns eight starters and 31 letterwinners from last year's ACC Championship squad that finished 15-5 and advanced to the program's sixth consecutive NCAA semifinal.
The Blue Devils come in behind Loyola, Maryland, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins and North Carolina in the coach's poll, while only the reigning NCAA Champion Greyhounds, Terrapins and Fighting Irish are the top three, respectively in the media poll.
Overall, Duke will play six of the top 10 programs, including the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 squads on the USILA list. The 2013 season opens with No. 9 Denver and also includes No. 7 Virginia.
Seniors Bill Conners, David Lawson and Josh Offit will captain the team as it vies for its eighth ACC title and 17th NCAA Tournament berth. Duke, welcoming 15 newcomers to the program, is looking to fill holes left by All-Americans CJ Costabile, Michael Manley, Robert Rotanz and Justin Turri.
Duke returns five of its top seven scorers from a year ago and two of its starting three close defensemen and a three-year starter in goal in Dan Wigrizer.
With 11 home games on the schedule in 2013, Duke will host five of the top nine teams in the country. The Blue Devils went 9-0 last season at Koskinen Stadium and is 20-1 at home since 2011.
Following the opening weekend Feb. 9-10 against Denver and Jacksonville, respectively, Duke welcomes No. 3 Notre Dame and Mercer Feb. 16-17.