Blue Devils Looks to Snap Skid at 13th-Ranked West Virginia...
Coming off dropping its first two matches of the 2014 campaign in the UNC Nike Classic, the 21st-ranked Duke women’s soccer team (0-2) will travel to 13th-ranked West Virginia (1-1) Friday, Aug. 29 for a 7:30 p.m., contest at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W. Va. The Blue Devils will close the weekend with their home opener Sunday, Aug. 31 at 6:00 p.m., versus UAB (1-0) at Koskinen Stadium.
Both contests this weekend will be aired live online. Fans can follow the West Virginia match on www.wvusports.com, while the UAB match will be aired live on Blue Devil Network (www.GoDuke.com).
In the Rankings... Duke is currently ranked No. 21 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll. West Virginia is listed No. 13 in the NSCAA, No. 18 in the Soccer America and No. 11 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com ledgers. UAB is not ranked.
A Look at West Virginia...
West Virginia opened the season with a 3-1 loss at 24th-ranked Penn State and defeated Missouri, 3-2. Kate Schwindel scored two goals, while Kelsie Maloney owns one goal and three assists in the two matches.
The Mountaineers returned nine starters and 12 letterwinners off their 16-4-3 squad from last year that advanced to the NCAA second round.
The Series with West Virginia...
Duke and West Virginia have played only one time in school history with the contest taking place last season in the Duke Nike Classic. The squads played to a 1-1 draw in double-overtime. Mollie Pathman scored the Blue Devil goal, while Ali Kershner played the entire 110 minutes in the net.
A Look at UAB...
UAB owns a 1-0 record, after a 2-1 double-overtime victory at South Alabama to open the season. Johanna Liney and Sarah Morris each netted goals in the match. The Blazers will play at Davidson Friday, Aug. 29 prior to heading to Durham.
The Series with UAB...
Duke owns a 2-0 all-time record versus UAB. On Sept. 16, 2005, the Blue Devils totaled a 1-0 win in Durham, N.C., while on Sept. 8, 2006 Duke notched a 2-0 win in Birmingham, Ala.
For the first time since 1996, Duke opened the season with a 0-2 record. During that year, the Blue Devils started the season 0-3 before finishing with a 10-10-3 overall mark.
The last time Duke opened the season without scoring a goal in the first two matches was in 2007 as the Blue Devils tied Pepperdine and San Diego, 0-0.
Home Opener Aug. 31...
Duke will feature its home opener Sunday, Aug. 31 at 6:00 p.m., as the Blue Devils will host UAB. The match will be aired live on the Blue Devil Network via www.GoDuke.com.
For tickets to all of Duke’s home women’s soccer contests, contact the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE (2583) or call (877) 375-3853.
Doria Returns to the Field...
After missing all of the 2013 season with a knee injury, redshirt senior midfielder Gilda Doria made her return in the UNC Nike Classic. She came off the bench in both matches and played a total of 87 minutes. She took one shot versus Stanford.
Doria has notched seven goals, 20 assists and 34 points over her career.
No. 3 Class Arrives, Makes Impact...
Duke welcomes the No. 3 overall recruiting class in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com in 2014. The group includes Imani Dorsey, Morgan Reid, Schuyler DeBree, Casey Martinez, Ashton Miller, EJ Proctor, Abby Pyne and Mary Elizabeth Bender.
Dorsey was ranked as the top forward in the class, while Reid was the top defender. Five of the freshmen -- Dorsey, DeBree, Miller, Reid and Martinez -- started the season opener versus Ohio State. It marked the most freshmen to start a season opener in school history. The previous high was four in 2002.
Exhibition Review... In two exhibition games, the Blue Devils posted two victories. Duke downed 14th-ranked South Carolina, 2-0, in the first match as rookie Casey Martinez and a Gamecock own goal proved to be the difference makers.
At UNC Wilmington, Duke collected a 1-0 win behind an early goal by freshman Imani Dorsey.
Duke featured four freshmen starting in the exhibition contests -- Dorsey, Martinez, Ashton Miller and Schuyler DeBree.
U-20 World Cup Review...
Duke sophomore Christina Gibbons and sophomore Rebecca Quinn returned the week of Aug. 20, following helping lead their countries to a quarterfinal appearance in the U-20 World Cup in Canada.
Gibbons started the final three matches on defense for the United States. In those three matches, the U.S. didn’t allow a goal in the run of play. The only goal allowed was a penalty kick by Korea in the Sweet 16.
Quinn started all four matches on defense for Canada before falling in the quarterfinals.
Goalkeeper Battle... Once again this season, redshirt senior Meghan Thomas and redshirt junior Ali Kershner will battle for the starting goalkeeper position. Incoming freshman EJ Proctor has impressed the coaching staff as well and will throw her name in the mix for playing time.
A year ago, Thomas and Kershner combined for seven shutouts and a 1.37 goals-against average.
Duke Picked No. 5 in ACC Preseason Poll...
The ACC released the preseason coaches’ poll Aug. 18 along with a preseason All-ACC Team that features Duke sophomore Christina Gibbons, following a vote of the league’s 14 head coaches. As a team, Duke was selected No. 5 overall in the ledger.
Florida State received eight first place votes and 189 points to be tabbed No. 1 in the preseason poll, while Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Duke, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse, Miami, NC State and Pitt rounded out the predictions.
Along with Gibbons on the All-ACC team was Morgan Brian (Virginia), Dagny Brynjarsdottir (FSU), Makenzy Doniak (Virginia), Summer Green (UNC), Kristen Grubka (FSU), Stephanie McCaffery (Boston College), Ashley Meier (Virginia Tech), Cari Roccaro (Notre Dame) and Kailen Sheridan (Clemson).
• The Blue Devils were hoping to have 2012 National Freshman of the Year Cassie Pecht back on the pitch in 2014, but recently found out she will require another knee surgery and will miss her second straight season.
• Duke is excited to welcome back redshirt senior captain Gilda Doria to the lineup this season after missing 2013 with a knee injury. She had a minor hamstring injury at the beginning of preseason but is back practicing now.
• As a team, the Blue Devils return only three student-athletes who scored a goal in 2013 -- Kelly Cobb (7), Toni Payne (3) and Malinda Allen (1).
• Malinda Allen will miss the opening of the season recovering from an injury, but is expected to play in 2014.
• Duke will feature tri-captains in 2014 with Gilda Doria, Ali Kershner and Tabria Williford leading the Blue Devils.
Duke on Air...
All home women’s soccer contests will be aired live on the Blue Devil Network, ESPN3 or RSN-TV. A total of seven matches will be aired on ESPN3 during the season, including all four contests in the Duke Nike Classic.
Matches that will be on ESPN3 include Arkansas (Sept. 5), Penn State (Sept. 7), NC State (Sept. 25), Louisville (Oct. 4), North Carolina (Oct. 19), Virginia (Oct. 23) and Florida State (Oct. 31).
Duke’s home contest against Wake Forest will be aired live on RSN-TV at 3:00 p.m. The home matches against Alabama-Birmingham (Aug. 31), LSU (Sept. 14) and Boston College (Oct. 26) will be aired on Blue Devil Network.
Follow DWS on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook...
Make sure you follow Duke women’s soccer on Twitter (@Duke_WSOC) and Instagram (DUKEWSOC) where you can find photos and video. You can see behind-the-scenes pictures, video and info on the Blue Devils. Fans can also “like” Duke women’s soccer on Facebook as well.