COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The third-ranked Duke field hockey team opened B1G/ACC Cup play in high-scoring fashion, dispatching 12th-ranked Northwestern by a 4-0 score Friday at Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. The Blue Devils moved to 3-0 on the season while picking up their second shutout of the year.
Senior Rose Tynan and freshman Olivia Sahaydak accounted for two goals each while junior midfielder Margaux Paolino recorded two assists. Defensively, Duke limited the Wildcats to just four shots and one penalty corner on the afternoon.
Duke dominated possession in the first half, racking up 13 shots and five corner opportunities while holding the Wildcats without a look at the cage, but the teams remained in a scoreless battle at the intermission.
“The first half we really put on some great pressure from the front line and were able to pick up some balls in the midfield,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “Our back line was able to intercept and start some attack from the back. We did it for the 35 minutes and I was really proud of the energy. Sometimes, though, when it takes that much energy in the conditions we played in today, you’ve got to get a goal out of it. We had some great chances, but when we went in the locker room at halftime, we had to challenge them to bring that same energy out, but with a focus to finish.”
The Blue Devils were quick to turn that momentum into a goal early in the second half, as Tynan used a strong backhand to break open the scoring in the 38th minute. Paolino provided the assist to help give Duke the lead. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele and the Blue Devil defense were stalwart against the Northwestern counter, preserving the 1-0 advantage.
Duke continued to push forward and earned a second tally on an attack penalty corner in the 48th minute. The Wildcats’ Florien Marcussen saved an initial shot before a ball from Paolino was tipped into the back of the cage by Sahaydak for her second goal of the season.
A pair of Blue Devil freshmen made it 3-0 less than a minute later, as a pass from Leah Crouse up to Sahaydak allowed the squad to capitalize on a fast break. Sahaydak notched her first multiple-goal game in a Blue Devil uniform.
In the 67th minute, Duke sealed the victory with a final goal by Tynan, who tapped in a ball off the stick of freshman Kiki Rozemeijer at the back post.
“I said at halftime the flood gates were going to open – it was just a matter of pushing through,” Tynan said. “Once one came, it was going to fall for us … It’s definitely good to score goals and we’re generating a lot of shots.”
For the game, the Blue Devils overwhelmed Northwestern with 24 shots to the four by the Wildcats. Duke also totaled six penalty corners.
“I’m really proud of our defense for keeping the ball out of the circle,” Bustin said. “That’s one of their strengths, something that they build on and one of our goals was to make our defense happen outside the circle. The team did a great job with it. Great effort by our entire backfield.”
The Wildcats’ Marcussen finished with 11 saves in goal while Steele had three for the Blue Devils.