DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off of a 17-7 fall campaign which included a run to the NCAA title match, the Duke field hockey team returned to action over the weekend with a series of spring scrimmages at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
The Blue Devils hosted North Carolina, Old Dominion and Virginia Saturday for Duke Play Day, which featured 35-minute contests in a round robin format. Duke went 2-0-1 on the day, defeating Virginia and Old Dominion and playing North Carolina to a 1-1 draw.
In the opening game Saturday morning, the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels ended in a 1-1 tie after 35 minutes in regulation and a five-minute overtime period. Duke then topped Virginia by a 2-0 score in its second matchup. Junior forward Jessica Buttinger beat her defender for the squad’s first goal and freshman Hunter Bracale added a penalty corner score with Buttinger and sophomore Aileen Johnson assisting on the play.
Saturday’s final contest against Old Dominion was decided by a shootout as both teams went scoreless during the initial 35-minute period. Freshman Heather Morris, junior Abby Beltrani and Buttinger all scored for the Blue Devils in the shootout while redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing tallied saves against each of the Monarch’s three attempts to help preserve the victory.
Duke also took to the turf Sunday to welcome ACC opponent Wake Forest for a scrimmage. The two squads ended the contest in a 1-1 tie, with sophomore Hannah Barreca notching the goal for the Blue Devils on a penalty corner opportunity and Buttinger and Beltrani providing the assists.
Other highlights on the weekend included the return of junior Martine Chichizola, who missed the 2013 season due to injury, and the Blue Devil debut of freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Wagner, who saw time against Virginia and Old Dominion, making several key stops in the win over the Monarchs.
Duke will travel to Norfolk, Va., the site of the 2013 NCAA Championship, Saturday, Apr. 5 to take part in a spring tournament at Old Dominion. The program’s remaining spring slate also features a scrimmage against Louisville Sunday, Apr. 6 in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a scrimmage at North Carolina Saturday, Apr. 12 as part of the Blue Devils’ annual Almunae Weekend.