DURHAM, N.C. – Freshman forward Heather Morris recorded the first points of her collegiate career Sunday, posting a hat trick in only her second game to lead the 10th-ranked Blue Devils past No. 17 Drexel by a 4-1 score. The win capped a 2-0 weekend by Duke in its opening weekend of the 2013 campaign.
The Blue Devils outshot the visiting Dragons 12-7 in the win and led in penalty corners by a 5-1 margin. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad also placed nine of its 12 shots on goal while limiting Drexel (1-1) to just one shot on goal.
The opening half saw Duke capitalize on its first penalty corner opportunity, with junior Abby Beltrani finding Morris inside on the ensuing play. The strike in the 16th minute marked the first of Morris’ collegiate career and moved Beltrani’s season assist total to three after just two games.
Graduate student Cherry Seaborn tallied her second goal in a Duke uniform a short while later, touching in a pass from senior Emmie Le Marchand at the front post to double the Blue Devils’ lead. Morris added an unassisted score less than a minute later, lifting her team to a 3-0 advantage at the break.
A strong effort from Duke’s back line and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing kept Drexel off the board for over 56 minutes before the Dragons' Idrienne Walker broke through late in the second half. The Blue Devils went on to score once more before the end of regulation, however, answering on Morris’ third goal of the day to wrap up the 4-1 victory.
“I’m just another piece of the puzzle,” Morris said of the three-goal performance. “Today I just had my opportunities … I’m just getting into it, so the rest of the season will tell how it will go, but it is a good start.”
The 2-0 start to the fall marks the best for the program during Bustin’s tenure, while the eight goals scored in the first two contests are the most for the Blue Devils in an opening weekend since 2005.
“Our goal all spring was working on our attack,” Bustin said. “And not just one or two attacking offenses, but really getting the team involved in the attack, get the numbers up with the ball and try to keep the pace of the game high. I think we’ve matched that speed with our composure to finish the play.”
Duke embarks for its first road trip of the season next weekend, visiting No. 3 Princeton Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. before facing Rutgers Sunday, Sept. 8 in a 1 p.m. matchup.