Florida State (5-0-2, 0-0-1) at #12 Duke (4-2-1, 1-0-0) Sunday, Sept. 15 • 1:00 PM • Durham, N.C. Koskinen Stadium • Blue Devil Network
Blue Devils to Host No. 4 Florida State Sunday in Key League Contest... The 12th-ranked Duke women’s soccer team will host its third top-10 opponent over the last four matches on Sunday as the Blue Devils (4-2-1, 1-0-0 ACC) welcome fourth-ranked Florida State (5-0-2, 0-0-1) to Koskinen Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1:00 p.m. Sunday’s match will be aired live on the Blue Devil Network with John Roth (PXP) and Erin Koballa (Color) calling the action. Following the match on Sunday, Duke will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to go up against seventh-ranked Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m.
A Look at Florida State... Florida State is coming off a 0-0 double-overtime draw at seventh-ranked Wake Forest on Thursday. The Seminoles own a 5-0-2 mark, but has scored only three goals over the last four matches. FSU is led by Dagny Brynjarsdottir with three goals on the year.
The Series with Florida State... Duke and Florida State will meet for the 21st time in school history with the series tied 8-8-4. In matches played in Durham, N.C., the Blue Devils own a 5-0-4 mark. In the most recent meeting in Durham, Duke took a 2-1 victory against the Seminoles with Kelly Cobb and Chelsea Canepa netting goals.
Challenging Schedule... Duke’s non-conference schedule has been one of the toughest in the nation featuring four ranked opponents -- No. 6 UCLA, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 10 West Virginia and then 12th-ranked Texas A&M. The six opponents have combined for a 21-11-4 mark early this season.
Offense Breaks Out... The Blue Devils kept getting closer to breaking out of their offensive slump to open the season, but it finally happened on Thursday against Miami with three second half goals. Duke notched three goals in a span of under 30 minutes to open ACC play. Freshman Toni Payne, senior Kaitlyn Kerr and junior Kelly Cobb each netted tallies. Laura Weinberg leads the Blue Devils with 30 shots, while Kelly Cobb (26), Kim DeCesare (23) and Kaitlyn Kerr (20) and each have double-digit shot attempts. Cobb registered a career-high eight attempts on Thursday versus Miami.
Slow Scoring Start... After the Blue Devils posted a school-record 207 points a year ago, Duke has opened the 2013 season with a slow start scoring five goals in the first six matches. The five goals in six matches was the lowest output in school history to start the year. The previous low was eight in 2005. Duke also had nine goals in six matches in 1996 and 1998. Duke’s three goals against Miami was a very nice output and the Blue Devils hope to keep the trend going on Sunday versus Florida State.
In the NCAA Stats... After ranking in the top 10 of most of the offensive categories last year, Duke opened at 229th in scoring offense in the first NCAA stats release of the 2013 campaign, but moved to 199th after scoring three goals against Miami. The Blue Devils are 42nd in goals-against average, including a No. 39th listing by goalkeeper Ali Kershner. Florida State ranks 14th in goals-against average (0.27) as goalkeeper Kelsey Wys ranks 17th with a 0.267 goals-against average.
Blue Devils at Home... Duke enters Sunday’s match at home with a 21-2-4 record at Koskinen Stadium dating back to the 2011 season. The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents at home 80-19 over the last three years. Duke has an all-time record of 166-57-22 in home contests at Koskinen Stadium. In head coach Robbie Church’s 13 years with the Blue Devils, Duke has posted an 85-22-15 mark at home.
Solid Defense... In seven matches to open the season, the Duke defense has allowed only four goals and notched four shutouts. The four shutouts ranks tied for third in the ACC. The Blue Devil defense has featured as many as three rookies in back at times early on. Duke’s four goals allowed marks only the eighth time in school history the Blue Devils have allowed four or less goals in the opening seven games of the season.
Least Goals Allowed First Seven Games 2 - 2005, 1988 3 - 2010, 2007, 1994 4 - 2013, 2011
Freshmen Make Impact Immediately... The Duke freshmen have made an immediate impact and over the last three matches at least four rookies have started -- Christina Gibbons, Lizzy Raben, Malinda Allen, Toni Payne and Rebecca Quinn. Quinn was injured in the New Mexico match and is expected to miss a few more weeks. A total of seven freshmen have seen action so far this season – Lizzy Raben, Christina Gibbons, Rebecca Quinn, Toni Payne, Krysia Sikora, Malinda Allen and Catherine Blair. The rookies have seen action in 2,366 minutes for Duke so far. Duke featured three freshmen starting during the opening weekend (Lizzy Raben, Rebecca Quinn and Christina Gibbons), which is the most since 2009 when Tara Campbell, Erin Koballa and Nicole Lipp started as freshmen. The Blue Devils started two freshmen on defense in the season opener (Raben, Gibbons) for the first time since the 2002 campaign when Kate Seibert and Carolyn Ford started on defense as rookies. It is only the third time in school history two freshmen have started on defense in the season opener. Kershner Playing Big for Blue Devils... Blue Devil redshirt sophomore Ali Kershner has been waiting for two years behind four-year starting keeper Tara Campbell to make her first start. Kershner was given the opportunity on Aug. 23 at 12th-ranked Texas A&M and made the most of her chance notching a shutout and three saves over 90 minutes. On Sept. 1 versus New Mexico, Kershner netted her second straight shutout in a 1-0 victory. She became the first Duke goalkeeper in school history to register two shutouts in her first two collegiate starts. She had her best performance against Miami with a career-high five saves, including a penalty kick save in the first half. Kershner now owns three shutouts and a 0.52 goals-against average. Her three shutouts ranks tied for second in the ACC. Kershner had played in five matches in 2012 prior to this season.
Duke Battling Injuries... The Blue Devils have had their share of injuries in 2013 as Duke has been without starters Cassie Pecht and Gilda Doria for the entire season, while also not having the services of potential starter Alex Straton. Since the season started, starting freshman midfielder Rebecca Quinn went down with a foot injury and starting defender Tabria Williford suffered a concussion. Both Pecht and Doria are likely to miss the entire season, while Quinn is expected to be out a few more weeks, Straton is out for the season and Williford is progressing well. Pecht and Doria have combined for 13 goals and 35 assists over their career.
Noting Duke... • Redshirt junior Meghan Thomas notched her first collegiate shutout against Kennesaw State and owns a 0.67 goals-against average in two matches in 2013. • Duke featured five freshmen starting against New Mexico, which is the second-most by any ACC squad this season. Clemson started seven freshmen in a recent match. • The Blue Devils scored a first half goal against New Mexico, which marked the first one of the season in the first stanza. • Duke has outshot its opponents in the opening seven matches by a 138-65 ledger. • Freshman Christina Gibbons leads Duke with 649 minutes played so far this season. She has seen action in all but one minute on the defensive end. • The Blue Devils will feature tri-captains in 2013 with Kim DeCesare, Gilda Doria and Kaitlyn Kerr getting the nod from their teammates. • Duke returns 95.4 percent of its scoring from the 2012 season, including 62 of 65 goals scored. • Dating back to the 2011 campaign, 10 of the 11 Blue Devil losses have been by one goal. • Duke is coming off advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth time out of the last six years. • The Blue Devils welcome the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the nation.
Consecutive Starts... Senior defender Natasha Anasi owns a team-best 57-game consecutive starts streak. Over her career, Anasi has helped lead Duke to 36 shutouts on the defensive end. She is a two-time All-America and MAC Hermann Trophy watch list selection.
In the Rankings... Duke is No. 12 in the Soccer America and No. 15 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire ledger, while coming in at No. 14 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll. Florida State is fourth in the NSCAA poll, No. 7 in the Soccer America and No. 5 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com listing.
Weinberg Moving Up Career Charts... Senior Laura Weinberg netted two assists against Miami to move into a tie for third on Duke’s all-time points list (88). She also moved into a tie for seventh on the assist list (20). Weinberg totaled a career-high 16 goals and 12 assists in 2012 and is only 29 points away from matching the Duke career points mark of 117 held by Kelly Walbert. She is 13 goals away from tying Walbert’s career goals mark of 47 as well.