Duke (0-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. Ohio State (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) Friday, Aug. 22 • 5:00 PM • Chapel Hill, N.C. Fetzer Field
Duke (0-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. Stanford (0-0, 0-0 Pac 12) Sunday, Aug. 24 • 12:00 PM • Chapel Hill, N.C. Fetzer Field
Duke Opens Season Friday in UNC Nike Classic... The preseason 10th-ranked Duke women’s soccer team will open the 2014 regular season in the UNC Nike Classic this weekend, which will be played at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Blue Devils will open play Friday, Aug. 22 against Ohio State at 5:00 p.m., followed by a contest with seventh-ranked Stanford Sunday, Aug. 24 at 12:00 p.m.
In the Rankings... Duke has been preseason ranked No. 10 in the Soccer America ledger, while being tabbed No. 18 in the NSCAA and No. 12 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com polls. Stanford is ranked No. 7 (Soccer America) and No. 6 (NSCAA, TopDrawerSoccer.com).
In the UNC Nike Classic... Duke owns an all-time record of 24-14-1 in the UNC Nike Classic. The Blue Devils are 6-2 over the last four years with losses to Stanford and Florida. Duke has outscored opponents 72-42 in the UNC Nike Classic.
A Look at Ohio State... Ohio State enters the 2014 season returning eight starters and 16 letterwinners under 18th-year head coach Lori Walker. The Buckeyes posted a 10-7-3 record and advanced to the program’s fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament last season. Captain Ellyn Gruber (team-high seven assists) and leading goal-scorer Nichelle Prince (13 goals) return in 2014, while Ohio State welcomes in a group of 10 newcomers.
The Series with Ohio State... Duke and Ohio State will meet for the sixth time in school history with the Blue Devils leading the overall series, 5-0. In the previous contests, Duke has won four of the matches at home and the other contest was in Columbus, Ohio. In the five meetings, the Blue Devils have outscored the Buckeyes, 16-3.
A Look at Stanford... Stanford returns nine starters off of its 2013 squad that posted a 15-6-1 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Head coach Paul Ratcliffe enters his 12th season with the Cardinal. Taylor Uhl (12 goals), Chioma Ubogagu (11 points) and Jane Campbell (6 shutouts) are three of the returners for Stanford.
The Series with Stanford... Duke and Stanford will meet for the ninth time in school history with the Cardinal leading the series, 7-1. The previous meeting came in the NCAA Championship game Dec. 4, 2011 in Kennesaw, Ga. Stanford posted a 1-0 victory to win the national title. Duke and Stanford met in the UNC Nike Classic on Aug. 29, 2010 with the Cardinal winning 2-1. The last five meetings have come on neutral ground.
Hey, I Know You... Duke sophomore Christina Gibbons and freshman Morgan Reid played club soccer with Ohio State’s Alexis Degler, who is out of Cary, N.C. The trio played together on the ‘94 CASL Chelsea Ladies team. Sophomore Rebecca Quinn will go up against two of her Canada U-20 National Team counterparts versus Ohio State Friday -- Nichelle Prince and Lindsay Agnew.
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).
Noting Duke... • 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.
Home Opener Aug. 31... Duke will feature its home opener Sunday, Aug. 31 at 6:00 p.m., as the Blue Devils will host Alabama-Birmingham. 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.
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.