ATHENS, Ohio – Four different Blue Devils scored as third-ranked Duke shut out Ohio, 4-0, Friday in non-conference action at the Bobcats’ Pruitt Field. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad capped the regular season with a 14-4 record, winning eight of its final nine contests leading into next week’s ACC Championship.
A solid defensive performance gave the Blue Devils their seventh shutout of the season. Duke outshot the Bobcats for the contest, 26-4, and racked up nine penalty corner opportunities to four by Ohio.
“I’m really pleased with our ability to control the pace of play with our possession and our movement,” Bustin said. “It was one of the first games in a long time that I thought we were really efficient. We used the energy we needed, stay connected – especially in the first half. It was a very clean and controlled first half.”
Duke struck quickly, finding the back of the cage twice in the first 17 minutes of action. The Blue Devils capitalized on their first penalty corner attempt, as freshman Olivia Sahaydak finished on a feed from senior Rose Tynan for her ninth goal of the season. Sophomore Libby Thompson then made it 2-0 with a deflection into the cage on Tynan’s second assist.
Senior Caroline Andretta extended Duke’s lead before halftime, notching her 11th tally of the fall on a drive into the center of the circle. Freshman Kiki Rozemeijer picked up her second assist of the season on the scoring play.
Junior Margaux Paolino tacked on a goal with Andretta assisting in the 65th minute to close out the Blue Devils’ ninth non-conference victory of the season.
“Everybody on the team contributed on the field today, which is awesome,” Bustin said. “After 17 games, we all need to be prepared and ready and able to fulfill your role, and they did today. I think having different goal scorers and assists really showed that we stayed together as a team, created attack as a team and defended as a team.”
Duke will now shift attention to the postseason, returning to North Carolina for next week’s ACC Championship in Chapel Hill. The second-seeded Blue Devils face seventh-seeded Syracuse (8-6) in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 1:30 p.m. on RSN and ACC Network Extra.
“Super proud of this group coming in and handling the schedule that we did this year, staying on, improving from game to game and learning from game to game,” Bustin said. “What a great regular season for us, especially being on the road as much as we were. I think now we need to take that energy and take the experiences that we’ve had and let’s get prepared for the next season here, which is postseason.”