BOONE, N.C. – Fourth-ranked Duke capped a weekend road trip with its best offensive showing of the season, overwhelming Appalachian State in an 8-0 victory Sunday. The Blue Devils posted their fourth shutout of the year to move to 9-3.
Freshman Olivia Sahaydak led the way offensively, notching the first hat trick of her career, and senior Erin Scherrer chipped in a pair of tallies. Freshman Leah Crouse registered three assists while eight different Blue Devils finished with a point in the high-scoring affair.
The scoring output was the highest for the program since the Blue Devils dispatched William & Mary, 8-4, in the 2016 season opener.
“Today was a tribute to our depth and the preparation the entire team had,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “We wanted to focus on finishing and creating clear opportunities in our attacking circle, and we were able to do that … All the underclass attackers did a great job today – Libby [Thompson], Leah and Olivia. And I think our midfield too worked well with them to help create a lot of attacking opportunities.”
Senior forward Rose Tynan got the scoring started five minutes in, capitalizing on a Duke penalty corner with junior Margaux Paolino and sophomore Lexi Davidson providing assists. Scherrer and Sahaydak pushed it to a 3-0 advantage by the end of the opening half, with Scherrer taking a Crouse feed on a breakaway and Sahaydak tapping in a pass from Tynan on the left side of the scoring circle.
Defensively, the Blue Devils neutralized five Appalachian State corner opportunities in the first half.
Scherrer collected a rebound and put it away just minutes into the second period. Sahaydak kept momentum rolling with her second goal before junior back Jillian Wolgemuth made it 6-0 in the 62nd minute on an attack penalty corner.
Crouse assisted on two more Duke tallies by Sahaydak and senior Caroline Andretta to close out the contest. Sahaydak’s hat trick was the second this season by a Blue Devil, as Scherrer had three goals Sept. 16 in a win over No. 16 Saint Joseph’s.
The Blue Devils outshot the Mountaineers, 27-4, while limiting Appalachian State to just one look over the final 35 minutes. Penalty corners were even in the contest at five apiece.
“We just have to continue to be aggressive and continue to keep our defensive structure intact,” Bustin said of the team’s defensive play. “We were able to make some corrections second half and really keep the scoresheet clean and not let them into our circle. It’s something we’ll continue to work on and we have to take care of as soon as the game begins.”
Winners of three straight, the Blue Devils closed a busy month of action with a 6-2 record in contests played away from Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
The Blue Devils return to Durham for an ACC battle with Virginia Friday. The 6 p.m. contest will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.