Duke (1-1-0) vs. Kennesaw State (1-1-0) Friday, Aug. 30 • 2:30 PM Chapel Hill, N.C. • Fetzer Field
Duke Set to Compete in UNC Nike Classic This Weekend... The 12th-ranked Duke women’s soccer team (1-1-0) will compete in the UNC Nike Classic on Friday, Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 as the Blue Devils will take on Kennesaw State (1-1-0) and New Mexico (1-1-0). Duke will face KSU on Friday at 2:30 p.m., while the Blue Devils will take on the Lobos on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both matches will be played at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. Fans can follow the action with live stats via www.GoDuke.com and Twitter as well.
A Look at Kennesaw State... Kennesaw State owns a 1-1 record entering this weekend, after notching a 1-0 win over Tennessee Tech and a 2-0 loss versus Oklahoma. Brittney Reed scored KSU’s lone goal over the weekend. The Owls return eight starters in 2013 under the direction of head coach Rob King.
The Series with Kennesaw State... Duke and Kennesaw State will meet for the second time in school history. The only other meeting came on Sept. 3, 2004 in the UNC Nike Classic with the Blue Devils winning 1-0.
A Look at New Mexico... New Mexico owns a 1-1 record, after opening the season with a 1-0 loss versus 24th-ranked Texas Tech and a 1-0 win at New Mexico State. Dylann O’Connor scored the game-winner against New Mexico State in overtime. The Lobos return five starters under head coach Kit Vela. The Series with New Mexico... Duke and New Mexico will meet for the first time in school history.
In the UNC Nike Classic... Duke owns an all-time record of 22-14-1 in the UNC Nike Classic. The Blue Devils are 4-2 over the last three years with losses to Stanford and Florida. Duke has outscored opponents 70-42 in those matches.
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 only one goal in two matches. In 2012, Duke scored 12 goals over the first two contests at William & Mary (4) and versus Elon (8).
DeCesare Continues Hot Streak... Redshirt senior Kim DeCesare continued where she left off from the 2012 campaign on Aug. 23 at Texas A&M with one goal on a career-high tying six shots at 12th-ranked Texas A&M. Dating back to last season, DeCesare has scored five goals over the last five matches. Over the last two years, DeCesare has scored 17 goals and now owns 24 over her career, which ranks tied for ninth on Duke’s all-time list.
Freshmen Make Impact Immediately... 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 (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. A total of six freshmen saw action in the first half of both matches – Lizzy Raben, Christina Gibbons, Rebecca Quinn, Toni Payne, Krysia Sikora and Malinda Allen. Five of the freshmen were on the field at one time in the first half against A&M.
Kershner Makes First Start, Nets Shutout... 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. She came off the bench at South Carolina and didn’t allow a goal in 45 minutes. She had played in five matches in 2012 prior to this season.
Payne, Gibbons, Impressive in Debut... Blue Devil rookie Toni Payne came in at the 29th minute at Texas A&M and was very impressive. Payne started the second half and played the rest of the match, finishing with 62 minutes. Payne created the opportunity for the game-winning goal as she split two defenders in the box and found an open Kim DeCesare for the goal. Freshman Christina Gibbons started on the left side of the backfield and then was moved to the right side. She played extremely well and was tabbed the player of the game by one of the local media in College Station, Texas. Gibbons played the entire 90 minutes in both games last weekend.
Noting Duke... • Redshirt junior Meghan Thomas started the match in goal at South Carolina, but left at halftime due to a quad injury. She allowed one goal and made one save, while taking the loss in 45 minutes. • Duke outshot its opponents in the opening weekend by a 29-17 ledger. • Senior Natasha Anasi and freshman Christina Gibbons have each played all 180 minutes over the first two matches. • The win at Texas A&M marks the sixth straight year the Blue Devils have opened the season with a win. Robbie Church is 11-1-1 in season openers over his tenure at Duke. • Duke will not play a home match until Sept. 6 in the Duke Nike Classic against West Virginia. • 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 53-game consecutive starts streak. Over her career, Anasi has helped lead Duke to 33 shutouts on the defensive end. She is a two-time All-America and MAC Hermann Trophy watch list selection.
Weinberg Moving Up Career Charts... Senior Laura Weinberg enters her final year with the Blue Devils ranking in the top five in points (5th, 86) and goals (T4th, 34), after posting a school-record 44 points a year ago. Weinberg totaled a career-high 16 goals and 12 assists in 2012 and is only 31 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. With 18 assists over her career, Weinberg is tied for 11th on the Duke list.
In the Rankings... Duke is No. 12 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire and Soccer America polls, while coming in at No. 13 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll. New Mexico and Kennesaw State are not currently ranked.