DURHAM, N.C. – Third-ranked Duke opened the season with a 4-0 shutout victory over 22nd-ranked William & Mary Friday evening at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils made a strong statement with a solid defensive performance and received early contributions from a pair of freshmen on the offensive end.
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad featured four different goal scorers on the night, with Kiki Rozemeijer and Leah Crouse both notching their first tallies in a Blue Devil uniform. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele anchored a defensive unit that held the Tribe to just three shots – and only one on cage – in the top-20 matchup.
“We’ve been ready to get out and run against another team,” Bustin said. “With the depth of this team, energy is going to be a big part of what we try to achieve every game. I think we try to bring a lot of energy to all the lines on the field with our rotation. We want to continue to build on that to make some good things happen.”
Earning a start in the midfield in her first collegiate contest, Rozemeijer was quick to put Duke ahead on a penalty corner opportunity inside the opening 10 minutes. She provided the finishing touch on a ball from Jillian Wolgemuth for the team’s first tally of the season.
“We started off really well,” Rozemeijer said. “There was a lot of energy, simple process. I felt we had great energy as a team.”
A fast break created space for Crouse towards the end of the first half, with the rookie from Virginia Beach, Va., knocking home a hard shot from the right side of the cage. Her goal, coupled with a defensive unit that did not surrender a single William & Mary shot, gave the Blue Devils a 2-0 advantage at the intermission.
Senior Caroline Andretta made it a 3-0 contest early in the second half, putting away a Rose Tynan offering in the center of the circle. Duke continued to break through for chances on the scoring end before Tynan capitalized in the 68th minute on a Blue Devil corner. The senior captain tapped in a shot off a rebound to seal the 4-0 shutout victory.
“Our defense was a total team effort, from the pressing lines to the backfield patience,” Bustin said. “Sammi did have to pull out a couple good saves there towards the end, but overall the energy and the work rate we had on the front line and in the midfield helped to make the job for the backfield a bit easier.”
For the contest, Duke outshot the Tribe by a 21-3 margin and earned six penalty corners to none by the visiting squad. Steele was credited with one save while William & Mary’s Morgan Connor totaled seven stops on the other end.
“Over the past three weeks we’ve been working really hard to realize how to work together in our press,” Crouse said. “Our press was so much better than in our scrimmages. We have progressed so much as a team and we’re just going to keep building from here.”
Opening weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium continues Sunday with a 1 p.m. tilt against 23rd-ranked Liberty. The contest will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.