DURHAM, N.C. – The second-ranked Duke field hockey team collected its fifth shutout of the season in a 3-0 defeat of Old Dominion Sunday at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Seniors Ainsley Gill and Alexa Mackintire and junior Erin Scherrer all recorded goals as the Blue Devils moved their ledger to 7-1 for the season and 3-0 at home.
Head coach Pam Bustin earned the 250th victory of her coaching career with the result. She is one of just 14 active Division I head coaches with 250 or more wins.
“I thought it was a great game today,” Bustin said. “I’m pleased with the way we kept our composure throughout the game and actually got better as the game went on … It was an important game. Old Dominion is a common opponent to a lot of the other teams we’re going to be compared to towards the end of the season. They’re always a good team and they’re well-coached.”
Duke placed two shots on goal inside the first five minutes of the contest and took the early lead at the 12:05 mark. A ball off the stick of Mackintire was deflected into the cage by an Old Dominion back, giving Mackintire her second tally of the season.
The Blue Devils doubled their lead late in the half when junior Rose Tynan deftly slipped a pass between two Monarch defenders and found Scherrer, who beat the Old Dominion goalkeeper one-on-one for a score. Duke’s defensive penalty corner unit then weathered an opportunity by the visitors at the end of the period to head into the locker room at the intermission up, 2-0.
Behind the play of Tynan, the Blue Devils came out firing in the second half. The Monarchs’ Kealsie Robles held strong in goal until Gill broke free to record her third goal of the year.
“Credit ODU, they’re a great opponent,” Gill said. “This week, since we didn’t have a game on Friday, we focused a lot on our basic skills and just connecting with each other. I think that really went into this game and it’s what we can take into the rest of our season.”
The Monarchs generated an opportunity inside their attacking circle towards the end of the contest, but a successful clear by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sammi Steele secured the shutout victory.
Steele notched one save to eight by Robles while, on the day, Duke outshot the visitors by a 17-3 margin. The Blue Devils also finished with four penalty corners to one by Old Dominion.
“These kids have been coming out before practice and putting extra touches on the ball and working on specific things that maybe we don’t always get to do at practice,” Bustin said. “Each of them are taking ownership of their own game and contributing a lot to the team’s success. As a coach, you can’t ask for any more than that.”
Up next, the Blue Devils head back out on the road, heading to Boston next weekend. The squad plays at Boston College Friday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. and at Boston University Sunday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.