DURHAM, N.C. – The fourth-ranked Duke field hockey team honored its senior class with a 2-1 victory over No. 11 Boston College Friday night at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils closed the home portion of their regular season schedule on a high note, notching their seventh consecutive win.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, head coach Pam Bustin’s squad rallied in the second frame to improve to 13-3 on the season and 5-1 in ACC play.
“Really happy with the way the team came out second half and found a way to put the ball in the cage and come away with the win,” Bustin said. “We worked hard for it. I’m disappointed in our execution of what we talked about, what we practiced all week, in the first half. Boston College, as we knew, is a very good team, very dangerous team. They had some opportunities that we didn’t plan on giving. I’m happy that in the second half we were able to shore up what was happening in the midfield defensively and get a little spark on the attack.”
Duke came out attacking in the second half and tied the contest in the 56th minute on a goal by senior Erin Scherrer. Scherrer provided the finish on an impressive drive up the field by freshman Leah Crouse, who drew Boston College goalkeeper Jonna Kennedy out of the cage. Scherrer registered her seventh tally of the season while Crouse picked up her eighth assist.
“After the first half, we came in talked about how we needed to play our Duke game,” Scherrer said. “That’s something we always come back to when things aren’t working in our favor. Just playing how we play, relying on each other, trusting each other was really part of our game plan, and using each other for energy the rest of the game.”
Less than five minutes later, the Blue Devils took the lead on a successful penalty stroke by junior Haley Schleicher. Senior Rose Tynan and Crouse drove into the circle to earn the stroke that would prove to be the game winner.
Duke’s defensive unit kept the Eagles off the board on four second-half penalty corners, including one in the final 10-minute stretch. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele rounded out the contest with five saves to match Kennedy’s five stops on the other end.
The Eagles (9-6, 2-4 ACC) edged the Blue Devils in shots, 13-11, for the evening and led 10-5 in penalty corner opportunities. Boston College’s lone goal came on one of the team’s six first-half corner attempts 15 minutes in.
Following the match, Duke honored seniors Caroline Andretta, Morgan Bitting, graduate student Tessa Gote, Christy Palazzese, Scherrer and Tynan, who have guided the program to a 60-18 record over the past four seasons. The group has been a part of three consecutive NCAA quarterfinals appearances, including a trip to the national semifinals in 2015.
“This group of seniors has been awesome,” Bustin said. “They are just a fantastic example of coming in as freshmen and building and working on your skill, working on your self-confidence and leadership qualities and your senior year, having the confidence to really do it. So I’m really pleased and proud of them for that.”
The Blue Devils closed conference play with a 5-1 ledger to secure the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ACC Championship Nov. 1-4.
Duke remains in the area this weekend, playing at No. 1 North Carolina Sunday at 1 p.m. in a non-conference matchup on ACC Network Extra.