HARRISONBURG, Va. – Junior forward Rose Tynan tallied a pair of second-half goals to help the top-ranked Duke field hockey team rebound with a 3-1 victory over No. 15 James Madison Sunday at the JMU Field Hockey Complex.
The Blue Devils wrapped up a five-game road swing to start the season with a 4-1 ledger following a loss Friday at No. 10 Virginia. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad heads back to Durham for opening weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
“We started competing better for the ball as the game went on,” Bustin said. “We started moving the ball better as a team as the game went on. And that was something we obviously wanted to improve upon coming out of Friday’s match. It took us a little bit to get the rhythm, but I think once we did, it just reinforced our game and gave the kids more confidence to take the risks that we normally take.”
Though neither side converted on a combined 15 shots in the opening 35 minutes, Duke wasted little time in the second half, building a 2-0 lead by the 39:13 mark. Senior Ainsley Gill finished on a long ball from Tynan to break open the scoring, and Tynan followed suit less than a minute later, working her way around James Madison (5-1) goalkeeper Sara Kraeutler at the left post.
The Dukes cut the lead in half in the 53rd minute when Miranda Rigg redirected the ball into the cage on a penalty corner opportunity. The Blue Devils countered just minutes later, with Tynan deflecting a ball into the cage off the stick of Alexa Mackintire for her team-leading fourth goal of the season
Duke’s defense would go on to weather a final James Madison penalty corner at 64:30, punctuated by a Sammi Steele save, to cement the victory.
“The defense didn’t panic,” Bustin said. “They just stayed on task. We got more involvement from our midfielders in helping stop a play before it got to the circle. The more we can build on that team defense, we’re going to see less corners happening against us.”
The Dukes held the upper hand in shots through much of the first period until the Blue Devils earned a series of penalty corners inside the final seven minutes. Duke racked up eight looks in that span but Kraeutler made four stops and James Madison back Florien Sondern registered another to send the game into halftime with no score.
Penalty corners were even at five apiece for the afternoon while Bustin’s squad outshot the Dukes by a 17-11 margin. Steele made four stops in goal and senior back Alyssa Chillano added a defensive save, the eighth of her career.
“We’ve been on a long road stand,” Bustin said. “To come away 4-1 is good. We can still be better. But I think it’s built a lot of character and it’s really challenged us in ways that are going to help us. We’re really looking forward to being home.”
Next weekend marks opening weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium, as Duke hosts Louisville Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. and Princeton Sunday, Sept. 17 12 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.