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Courtesy: Jeffrey A. Camarati
Head Coach Pam Bustin
Field Hockey Kicks Off 2014 Campaign on Road
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 08/28/2014
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 GAME 1 - No. 4 Duke at No. 16 Michigan State                                   
Friday, Aug. 29 3 p.m. East Lansing, Mich. Ralph Young Field Gametracker Twitter
GAME 2 - No. 4 Duke vs. Central Michigan
Sunday, Aug. 31 1 p.m. East Lansing, Mich. Ralph Young Field Gametracker Twitter

– A year after reaching the NCAA championship contest, Duke enters the 2014 campaign ranked fourth in the initial Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll … The Blue Devils open the season on the road, traveling to East Lansing, Mich., to face No. 16 Michigan State Friday, Aug. 29 and Central Michigan Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Spartans’ Ralph Young Field.

2014 Season Outlook
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad returns 13 letterwinners and five starters from last year’s NCAA runner-up squad that went 17-7 … The program graduated eight student-athletes last spring, including two-time NFHCA All-Americans Paula Heimbach and Emmie Le Marchand … The Blue Devils’ veteran returners include Jessica Buttinger and Martine Chichizola up top, Abby Beltrani and Aileen Johnson in the midfield, Amanda Kim on the back line and Lauren Blazing in goal … Blazing garnered third team All-America recognition last fall and was joined on the NFHCA All-South Region team by Kim and Johnson … Forwards Buttinger and Heather Morris were tied for second on the team in scoring with eight goals each in 2013 … Seven newcomers joined the program this fall and are expected to contribute at all positions … The Blue Devils came in at No. 4 in the initial national rankings and were one of four conference teams listed within the top 10.

Michigan State Series History
Friday’s season opener marks the 10th all-time meeting between Duke and the Spartans … The Blue Devils lead the series between the two schools, 6-3, and won the last meeting in 2012, 4-2 … Duke outshot Michigan State, 25-6, in a back-and-forth contest that day at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.

Scouting the Spartans
After notching a 14-10 record in 2013, Michigan State enters the fall ranked 16th in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Coaches Poll … The Spartans won the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Connecticut … The squad will be led by seven seniors, all of whom are returning starters … That group includes leading scorers Abby Barker and Allie Ahern … Barker was a third team All-America selection last season as well as a first team All-Big Ten pick.

Central Michigan Series History
Duke and the Chippewas will square off for the first time since 2011 and just the fourth time overall Sunday … The Blue Devils won the last contest in 2011 and lead the all-time series, 3-0.

Scouting the Chippewas
Head coach Cristy Freese enters her 29th year at Central Michigan in 2014 … The squad posted a 7-12 record last year under Freese’s watch while advancing to the Mid-American Conference Championship contest … Central Michigan returns goalkeeper Sadie Lynn Reynolds as well as leading scorers Mary Moore and Jordyn Brengosz … Reynolds was among the top three goalkeepers in the MAC a year ago, notching a league-best .772 save percentage … The Chippewas kick off the season against Maine Friday in Mount Pleasant, Mich., before facing Duke Sunday in East Lansing.

Duke in Season Openers
The Blue Devils are 23-11 all-time in season openers since 1980 and 2-1 in head coach Pam Bustin’s tenure … Last year’s season opener saw the squad defeat Indiana, 4-0, at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.

Blue Devils Picked to Finish Second in ACC
The ACC released its preseason poll Monday, Aug. 25 with the Blue Devils projected to finish second in the conference by a vote of the league’s seven head coaches … North Carolina was tabbed the preseason favorite while Duke was second and Syracuse third … Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Blazing, junior defender Amanda Kim and junior midfielder Aileen Johnson were all named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.

Scheduling the Best
Duke’s 2014 slate features nine teams ranked in the top 20 of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Preseason Coaches Poll … The Blue Devils will face eight of the teams selected to the 2013 NCAA Tournament field, including national semifinalist North Carolina.

Starters Lost
The Blue Devils lost eight letterwinners and six starters from last year’s squad that advanced to the NCAA title match … The departures include two mainstays in the midfield in Grace Christus and Devon Gagliardi, as well as leading scorer Emmie Le Marchand, who concluded her career ranked fifth all-time at Duke in points and seventh in goals … Defender Paula Heimbach joined Le Marchand in earning NFHCA All-America recognition twice in their respective careers … Duke must also replace dynamic scorers in McKay Ross and Cherry Seaborn as well as a veteran defender in Brenna Rescigno and goalkeeper Ashley Camano.

Welcome to Duke
The Blue Devils’ class of 2018 is comprised of seven freshmen from four different states and Canada and includes Alyssa Chillano, Sarah Furey, Ainsley Gill, Ashley Kristen, Alexa Mackintire, Meghan Norair and Stephanie Pezzuti.