DURHAM, N.C. – Senior Emmie Le Marchand tallied two goals and graduate student Cherry Seaborn and junior Jessica Buttinger added one each to highlight the 10th-ranked Duke field hockey team’s season-opening victory over Indiana Friday afternoon at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils downed the Hoosiers by a 4-0 score after outshooting the visiting squad 17-12 for the match.
Duke’s four goals were the most in a season opener since 2005, when the program opened the fall with a 7-0 win over Louisville Aug. 27 on the road. Friday’s 4-0 win also marked the Blue Devils’ first shutout in a season opener since 2009.
“It was really exciting to open up at home,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “Indiana is a really strong opponent and challenged us at some critical times. We had to find solutions and ways to weather those moments, and I think this group did a great job as a team and as trained individuals to get through that. I’m really proud of them – a 4-0 score is a great score.”
Le Marchand started the scoring for Duke two minutes into the game, finding the back of the cage from close range to give the Blue Devils the early advantage. The squad added to its lead toward the end of the half, as Seaborn dove to touch in a ball in at the post on a feed from junior midfielder Abby Beltrani.
Aided by a stalwart defensive effort, Duke continued to attack the cage in the second half, going up by three goals on Le Marchand’s second score of the game in the 42nd minute.
Beltrani notched her second assist of the day with 10 minutes remaining, finding Buttinger on the left side of the circle to cap the 4-0 victory over the Hoosiers.
“We stayed with every play,” said senior defender Paula Heimbach. “There were a lot of bouncy balls and messy plays, but we just stuck with it. That pressure really made the difference in this game against a team like Indiana.”
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing guided the Blue Devil defense to its first shutout of the 2013 season, finishing the match with five saves.
“Indiana had some really great opportunities and created some scary moments for us,” Bustin said. “Not only did Lauren Blazing make some great saves, but the entire team was committed to keeping the ball out of the cage. That was just a sign of good teamwork.”
Duke returns to Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium Sunday, Sept. 1 to host No. 17 Drexel at 2 p.m. Live video and live stats will be available for that match. Drexel and Indiana will also face off at the Blue Devils’ stadium in Durham Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. in a neutral site contest.
- Senior forward Emmie Le Marchand’s four points on two goals Friday give her 95 points for her career, moving her into 11th place on Duke’s all-time chart.
- Le Marchand took over sole possession of 11th place in program history with 40 goals in her career.
- Junior midfielder Abby Beltrani set a new career high with two assists on the afternoon.
- Graduate student Cherry Seaborn recorded her first goal in a Duke uniform after joining the program this fall from England.