Setting the Scene
• Duke opens the 2013 campaign with the John Rennie Nike Invitational ... The Blue Devils welcome Elon, Northeastern and Rutgers as all four teams make their 2013 debut
• Elon replaces NC State as the second local squad ... The Wolfpack had been a part of the tournament since inception
Free Admission Sunday
• Going to the Duke football opener Saturday? Make a Duke weekend of it and bring your ticket to the soccer game Sunday and get in free … Simply present your ticket at the gate and cheer on the Blue Devils against Northeastern.
The Series Histories
• Duke has not faced Rutgers or Northeastern since 2001 ... The Blue Devils are 1-2-1 against the Scarlet Knights with the most recent loss being a 3-2 double overtime setback in October of 2001 ... The Huskies edged Duke 1-0 in September of 2001, the lone meeting between the two programs.
About the Scarlet Knights
• Rutgers is coming off of a 7-6-1 season in 2012 and welcomes back eight starters from last year’s squad, including preseason All-American Athletic Conference picks Kene Eze and Mael Corboz ... The Scarlet Knights were picked to finish fifth in the AAC and own the No. 22 ranked recruiting class by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
About the Huskies
• Northeastern is coming off of memorable season where it captures its first CAA Tournament title and the first berth in the NCAA Championship since 2002 ... Finishing 14-3-4 last season, the Huskies lost five players from that team, but welcome 10 freshmen to bolster the squad.
Duke by the Numbers
44-16-2 – Duke’s overall record in the previous 31 tournaments hosted by the Blue Devils
16 – Number of times Duke has won its tournament with the last being in 2010
2 – Years of the John Rennie Nike Invitational after it was renamed for the longtime Duke head coach
6 – Newcomers to the 2013 squad, including four freshmen and two redshirt senior additions
4 – Goals scored by the Blue Devils in the final exhibition game, a 4-2 win over Old Dominion
168 – Games played by Duke’s starting backline featuring two seniors and two juniors
10 – Returning starters from last year’s squad
11 – Home games for the Blue Devils this season, including five ACC contests
51 – Career Games started by senior defender Sebastien Ibeagha
9 – 2012 NCAA Tournament teams on the schedule this year for the Blue Devils
Ibeagha Earns Preseason Honors
Senior captain Sebastien Ibeagha picked up a host of preseason honors heading into the year ... The center back was named to the College Soccer News Preseason All-America first team and to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI first team ... He also was one of 10 defenders picked for the MAC Hermann Award Watch List.
The Blue Devils reported to campus Aug. 13 and held their first training session Aug. 14 ... Training almost twice per day over the following 12 days, Duke also played in a pair of exhibition games against George Washington and Old Dominion ... Duke tied the Colonials 0-0 and defeated the Monarchs 4-2 to round out preseason camp ... Two freshmen netted their first goals wearing a Duke jersey, while Alex Long got his first shutout as the Blue Devil netminder.
Duke returns 10 starters from last year’s squad after the graduation of lone senior James Belshaw ... The Blue Devils are an experienced squad with 21 juniors and seniors ... Overall, the Duke has three players who have played at least 50 games and nine with at least 30 games under their belts.
Duke Welcomes Six Newcomers
The Blue Devils welcome six new players to the Duke family in 2012 ... The list includes four freshmen and a pair of redshirt seniors ... Alex Long joins Duke after three seasons in goal at South Carolina ... Fellow graduate student Tomas Coulter previously played for Bath University in England, while Jimmy Doll, Jared Golestani, Brody Huitema and Seo-In Kim round out the group.
Palodichuk Returns from Timbers
Junior forward Nick Palodichuk spent the first half of his summer playing with the Portland Timbers U-23 squad ... Palodichuk played seven games with the Timbers before returning to Duke to enroll in summer school.
Duke’s backline is an experienced bunch with seniors Rob Dolot and Sebastien Ibeagha anchoring the lineup with juniors Jack Coleman and Nat Eggleston ... The Blue Devils have 21 shutouts in the previous three seasons, including a impressive nine last season posted
New Look In Goal
For the first time in four seasons, the Blue Devils will have a new face in the goal ... A veteran keeper will fill the role left by All-American James Belshaw as redshirt senior Alex Long will anchor the defense after two years as the starting goalie at South Carolina.
Huitema Tops Freshman List
Brody Huitema steps onto Duke’s campus highly regarded as a pure goal scorer ... The Vancouver Whitecaps Academy product tallied 30 goals in 29 games for the Whitecaps to lead the squad to the top spot in the Northwest Division and to the USSDA Finals Week ... He most recently returned from Spain where he played for the Canadian U-18 squad in an international tournament ... TopDrawerSoccer.com listed him on the Best XI Freshman list.
The Blue Devils hit the road for their ACC opener Sept. 6 at perennial power Maryland ... The Terrapins are in their final season as a member of the ACC ... Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., at Ludwig Field.