DURHAM, N.C. – After a 2-1 exhibition victory at No. 13 Clemson, the 12th-ranked Duke women’s soccer program is gearing up for their season opener this Friday. As the Blue Devils prepare to kick off the year against No. 6 North Carolina, it’s time to take a look back at last week and the 2017 season as a whole with this week’s DWS Weekly Notebook.
After a week on the practice field, the Blue Devils hit the road for their first competition of the 2017 season. A pair of early goals from Chelsea Burns and Taylor Racioppi were all Duke needed to secure a 2-1 victory at No. 13 Clemson in exhibition play last Friday night.
Friday, Aug. 11
No. 12 Duke def. No. 13 Clemson, 2-1 (Recap, Stats)
Friday, Aug. 18
No. 12 Duke (0-0-0) at No. 6 North Carolina (0-0-0) – 6 p.m. ET
ACC Network Extra
WakeMed Soccer Park
Sunday, Aug. 20
No. 12 Duke (0-0-0) vs. Xavier (0-0-0) – 1 p.m. ET
ACC Network Extra
DWS In The News…
- Blue Devils ranked 5th in TopDrawerSoccer’s Preseason Top 25 (TopDrawerSoccer.com)
- Quinn, Stevens earn Preseason Best XI honors (TopDrawerSoccer.com)
- Paschall tabbed an impact freshman for 2017 season (TopDrawerSoccer.com)*
- Racioppi returns, scores to help Duke women’s soccer top Clemson in exhibition (The Chronicle)
- Duke’s 2017 class ranked sixth in nation as 2017 season nears (TopDrawerSoccer.com)
* - Indicates article is only available with TopDrawerSoccer.com premier membership
Last season saw the Blue Devils reach the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons, while advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals or better for the fifth time in the last six years. Most of the defense that posted 11 shutouts last year comes back for the 2017 campaign. The Blue Devil defense allowed just 16 goals over 23 games, a 0.63 goals against average that finished fourth in the ACC and 20th in the nation. That average also finished as the fourth-best average in school history.
Offensively, Duke reeled off 47 goals, good for second in the league and 20th nationally. The Blue Devils also paced the ACC and stood 11th in the country with 150 points, while their 6.52 points per game clip was second in the conference and 16th in the NCAA. A bulk of that firepower returns for the 2017 season, including 2016 All-ACC selections Ella Stevens (10 goals) and Imani Dorsey (7 goals), as well as Taylor Racioppi (11 points in 11 matches).
Stevens returns after a freshman season that saw her tally a team-high 10 goals, including an ACC-high five game-winning scores (tied for fifth in Duke record book). EJ Proctor (2015 NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Player on Defense) led the Duke defensive charge last year, as her 10 solo shutouts placed third in the conference and 17th in the nation. Key in producing those shutouts was her scorching 0.638 goals against average (4th ACC, 22nd NCAA).
A number of familiar faces from the 2016 season return this year, as head coach Robbie Church brings back 10 starters and 24 total letterwinners. The 10 returning starters include:
Sr. M/F Imani Dorsey (22 starts, 7 goals, 7 assists, All-ACC)
RSr. D Rebecca Quinn (Redshirted 2016; Canadian Olympian)
Sr. M Ashton Miller (20 starts, 3 goals, 3 assists)
Sr. D Morgan Reid (18 starts, 11 shutouts on defense)
Jr. M Taylor Racioppi (11 starts, 3 goals, 5 assists, injured in 2016)
Jr. F Kayla McCoy (7 starts, 4 goals, injured in 2016)
So. M/F Ella Stevens (17 starts, team-high 10 goals, All-ACC)
So. M Olivia Erlbeck (19 starts, 1 goal, 5 assists)
Sr. GK EJ Proctor (23 starts, 10 shutouts)
Sr. D Schuyler DeBree (23 starts, 11 shutouts on defense)
Other returning letterwinners include: Casey Martinez, Mia Gyau, Mary Love Taylor, Lexi Magliarditi, Malinda Allen, Kat McDonald, Anna Munro, Emma Carlson, Mackenzie Coles and Emily Wilson.
Newcomers Arrive For 2017 Season…
With the arrival of preseason also comes the arrival of the new crop of Blue Devils, as eight freshmen began their Duke careers. The 2017 crop continued head coach Robbie Church’s dominance on the recruiting trail, as the class finished ranked sixth in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Along with the eight freshmen, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn will make her debut, as she missed the 2016 campaign while playing with the U.S. U-20 women’s national team.
Duke Earns No. 12 Ranking In United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll…
The Blue Devils were tabbed No. 12 in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches’ preseason top 25 released earlier this month. The USC was formerly known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). With the listing, Duke has now been preseason ranked in the top 20 nationally for the fifth time and the top 15 for the fourth time over the last six seasons.
Quinn Tabbed Preseason All-ACC, Duke Picked 3rd In League…
Redshirt senior Rebecca Quinn reeled in Preseason All-ACC honors earlier this month, as the Blue Devil’s defensive star returns to the field after a 2016 season that saw her earn bronze with Team Canada at the Rio Olympics and then fall victim to injury throughout most of the DWS season. The conference honor is the second of her career, as she was named All-ACC Third Team following her junior season in 2015.
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 league coaches.
Gibbons Closing In On NCAA Woman of the Year award…
Former Blue Devil standout Christina Gibbons moved another step closer to the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award earlier in August, as she was named one of the ACC’s two nominations for the award. A former NSCAA First Team All-American, Gibbons joins 144 other conference nominees across all three NCAA divisions. She will now await the selection of the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – made by the selection committee later this fall. From there, the top 30 will be paired down to three from each division in September, with the overall winner announced Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
Duke’s Sunday, Aug. 20 home opener against Xavier (1 p.m. ET) will be a free admission event. The remainder of the Blue Devil home schedule will be ticketed events. For tickets, contact the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE (2583) or call (877) 375-3853.
For more information on Duke women’s soccer, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.