DURHAM, N.C. – Following a vote of the 14 league head coaches, the ACC released the 11-member preseason All-ACC team Thursday along with the preseason coaches poll. Duke redshirt senior Rebecca Quinn landed on the team for the second-straight year, while the Blue Devils were picked to finish third in the league.
Along with Quinn, Cassie Miller (Florida State), Sam Staab (Clemson), Natalia Kuikka (Florida State), Sandra Yu (Notre Dame), Deyna Castellanos (Florida State), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina), Bridgette Adrezjewski (North Carolina), Jennifer Westendorf (Notre Dame) and Veronica Latsko (Virginia) were voted to the all-conference squad.
As a team, Duke received one first-place vote and was selected No. 3 overall for the second-straight season. That ties last year for the second-highest preseason ranking since 2012 when the Blue Devils were tabbed No. 1 by the league coaches.
Duke returns 10 starters and a wealth of experience in 2017. The Blue Devils welcome back nine of their top 11 scorers from their squad that advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals a year ago. Headlining the returners are leading scorer Ella Stevens (10 goals), Imani Dorsey (7 goals) and Taylor Racioppi (11 points in 11 matches).
Most of the defense that collected 11 shutouts in 2017 comes back as well led by EJ Proctor, who was the 2015 NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Player on Defense. Other defensive starters back will be Schuyler DeBree, Morgan Reid, Chelsea Burns and Quinn.
The Blue Devils featured numerous injuries to key contributors a year ago and those standouts will be back in 2017 – Kayla McCoy, Quinn and Racioppi. Other returning letterwinners include Ashton Miller, Olivia Erlbeck, Casey Martinez, Mia Gyau, Mary Love Taylor, Lexi Magliarditi, Malinda Allen, Kat McDonald, Anna Munro, Emma Carlson, Mackenzie Coles and Emily Wilson.
Duke will also welcome one of the top recruiting classes in the nation along with redshirt freshman goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn, who missed the 2016 campaign as she was playing with the U.S. U-20 women’s national team.
The 2017 preseason kicked off with practice Wednesday. Duke will open up play with an exhibition showdown at Clemson Friday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m., with admission free to all fans. The Blue Devils will then open the regular season in Chapel Hill for the UNC Nike Classic against North Carolina Friday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.
For tickets to all of Duke’s home matches, contact the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE (2583) or call (877) 375-3853. The 2017 home opener will be Sunday, Aug. 20 against Xavier at 1 p.m.
2017 Preseason ACC Coaches Poll
- Florida State (186 points, 8 first place votes)
- North Carolina (172, 2)
- Duke (170, 1)
- Virginia (160, 2)
- Notre Dame (145, 1)
- Clemson (120)
- NC State (104)
- Virginia Tech (91)
- Wake Forest (72)
- Boston College (71)
- Miami (65)
- Louisville (63)
- Syracuse (33)
- Pitt (18)
2017 Preseason All-ACC Team
Cassie Miller, R-Sr., GK, Florida State
Sam Staab, Jr., D, Clemson
Rebecca Quinn, Sr., D, Duke
Natalia Kuikka, Jr., D, Florida State
Megan Connolly, Jr., M, Florida State
Sandra Yu, Sr., M, Notre Dame
Deyna Castellanos, So., F, Florida State
Jessie Scarpa, Jr., F, North Carolina
Bridgette Adrezjewski, So., F, North Carolina
Jennifer Westendorf, So., F, Notre Dame
Veronica Latsko, Sr., F, Virginia