Robbie Church, who enters his 12th year at Duke.DURHAM, N.C. – The 2012 Duke women’s soccer campaign is here and the Blue Devils are set to kick off practice on Thursday morning, under the direction of Head Coach
Church will guide a squad which is coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history as the Blue Devils advanced to the national championship match, won a school-record 22 contests, posted an 8-1 record in ACC play, notched the second league regular season crown in school history and registered a school-record 16 shutouts.
The Blue Devils return all 11 starters and a total of 22 letterwinners, including 91 percent of their scoring from a year ago.
Duke will feature three days of practice before traveling to Wilmington, N.C., for team bonding and practice for five days.
The Blue Devils will be led by three captains in 2012 -- senior Tara Campbell, redshirt junior Kim DeCesare and redshirt junior Callie Simpkins – along with a total of five seniors – Nicole Lipp, Libby Jandl, Maddy Haller, Erin Koballa. Returning starters for the Blue Devils in 2012 include Campbell, Lipp, Jandl, Haller, Koballa, Mollie Pathman, Laura Weinberg, Kaitlyn Kerr, Gilda Doria, Natasha Anasi and Kelly Cobb.
On the offensive end, the Blue Devils return 11 student-athletes who scored one or more goals last year, including the top five scorers from a year ago. The Blue Devils’ top returning scorer’s in 2012 include Cobb (11 goals), Kerr (11 goals), Weinberg (8 goals) and Pathman (6 goals).
For the third straight year, Duke returns its entire defensive unit led by two-time All-ACC goalkeeper Campbell. Haller, Koballa, Jandl and Anasi concluded the season as the starting back line. Campbell, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, has totaled 27 shutouts and started 68 matches played in goal since arriving in 2009. Anasi, who is a product of Arlington, Texas, Anasi was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-America selection. As a team, Duke notched a school-record 16 shutouts last year.
Other returning letterwinners for the Blue Devils include Simpkins, DeCesare, Avery Rape, Alex Straton, Audrey Gibson, Katie Trees, Katy Colas, Erin O'Connor, Tabria Williford, Anastasia Hunt and Meghan Thomas. Ali Kershner, a 5-11 goalkeeper, redshirted last season and will suit up in 2012 as well.
Duke welcomes a solid recruiting class in 2012 that includes Kelly McCann, Cassie Pecht, Kara Wilson, Sammie Thomas, Danielle Duhl and Courtney McDaniel.
The Blue Devils will feature six full days of practice before traveling to South Carolina on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7:00 p.m., in an exhibition match. The 2012 season will officially kick off on Friday, Aug. 17 at William & Mary with a start time of 7:00 p.m. Duke features nine home contests this season with all home games being played at Koskinen Stadium.
For tickets to all of Duke’s home women’s soccer contests, contact the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE (2583) or call (877) 375-3853.
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