Robbie Church announced Friday the release of the 2013 spring schedule, highlighted by a March 24 match with the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Washington Spirit at 3:00 p.m., at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. The Blue Devils will play seven matches in total, before concluding the spring season with an all-day ACC PlayDay April 13 in Winston-Salem, N.C.DURHAM, N.C.- Duke women’s soccer head coach
“I think it is a great schedule for us,” Church said. “It is a really important spring for us after losing three of our four back players and our four-year starter in goal, so we needed to really go out and challenge our team, especially our defenders and goalkeepers. We want to put them under the pressure that they are going to face in our fall season and I think we have done a great job of doing that.”
The Blue Devils kick off the spring season Feb. 28 as they travel to Greensboro to take on UNC Greensboro and Elon, before returning to play host to Florida March 23 at 10:00 a.m., at the Wake Med Soccer Complex in Cary, N.C. The Gators and Blue Devils met during the 2012 season in Chapel Hill, N.C., with Florida edging Duke, 3-2, in overtime. Florida ended the season with the same ranking as the Blue Devils in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, tied with Duke at No. 8.
Duke returns to the field the next day as the Blue Devils travel to Maryland to take on the Washington Spirit. Officially opening in the spring of 2013, the NWSL is the top-level women’s soccer league in the United States, consisting of eight teams, four of which were former members of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league.
“It’s also a bonus to have a game with a women’s professional team,” Church said. “We have a number of juniors that would like to look into that league, so it gives them a chance to see what playing professional soccer is like and it gives us a chance to show off our players for next year’s draft.”
Following the meeting with the Spirit, the Blue Devils are set to face ACC rival Virginia at 2 p.m. in Richmond, Md., before concluding the season April 13 with matches against North Carolina and Virginia Tech in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Duke registered a 15-6-2 overall record in 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth time out of the last six years. The Blue Devils return seven starters and 21 letterwinners, including 93.0 percent of their scoring from a year ago.
2013 Duke Women’s Soccer Spring Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
Thursday, Feb. 28 UNC Greensboro Greensboro, N.C. 6 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 28 Elon Greensboro, N.C. 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 Florida Cary, N.C. 10 a.m.
Sunday, March 24 Washington Spirit Boyd, Md. 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 Virginia Richmond, Va. 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 North Carolina Winston-Salem, N.C. TBA
Saturday, April 13 Virginia Tech Winston-Salem, N.C. TBA