Duke (9-8-6) at Virginia Tech (18-4-3) Friday, Nov. 30 • 4:00 PM • Blacksburg, Va. Thompson Field
Blue Devils Head to Blacksburg, Va., for Right to Head to NCAA College Cup... For the third straight year, the Duke women’s soccer team (9-8-6) will play in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals as the Blue Devils will travel to Blacksburg, Va., on Friday, Nov. 30 for a 4:00 p.m., match against fourth-ranked and top-seeded Virginia Tech (18-4-3) at Thompson Field. The winner of the Duke/Virginia Tech contest will advance to the NCAA College Cup to face the winner of the Florida State/Boston College match. Duke is making its 11th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and is playing in the tournament for the 20th time in school history. The Blue Devils advanced to its third consecutive NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in school history. If Duke were to advance to the NCAA College Cup, it would be the second appearance over the last three years under the direction of head coach Robbie Church and the third time in school history (2011 & 1992).
The Series with Virginia Tech... Duke and Virginia Tech will meet for the 12th time in school history with the Blue Devils leading the series, 8-2-1. The Blue Devils feature a six-match unbeaten streak and no member of the Duke squad has lost to the Hokies. Duke’s last loss to Virginia Tech came on Nov. 2, 2008 in Blacksburg, Va., 1-0. Over the last six matches, the Blue Devils have outscored the Hokies 13-4. In matches played at Virginia Tech, Duke owns a 3-1 record. Earlier this season, Duke and Virginia Tech tied, 1-1, in double-overtime in Durham. The Hokies notched a goal in the 67th minute from Ashley Meier, but Blue Devil junior Kelly Cobb added a goal in the 74th minute to even the match. Duke outshot the Hokies, 21-14.
A Look at Virginia Tech... Virginia Tech is seeded No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament and features an 18-4-3 record on the year. The four losses for the Hokies on the season all came against No. 1 seeds in the NCAAs. The Hokies have been led by Murielle Tiernan (11 goals, 5 assists), Jazmine Reeves (10 goals, 5 assists) and Ashley Meier (8 goals).
In the 2013 NCAA Tournament... In three matches during the NCAA Tournament, Duke has scored four goals and allowed three, while totaling a 1-0-2 record. Redshirt senior Kim DeCesare’s two goals against Arkansas have led the way with Kelly Cobb and Natasha Anasi each posting one tally. Senior Mollie Pathman has an assist in each match and has a team-high three in the tournament. DeCesare also has two assists for a total of six points. Redshirt junior Meghan Thomas owns 21 saves and one shutout in three matches in goal. In the NCAA Tournament overall stats, DeCesare ranks tied seventh with six points and Pathman ranks tied third with three assists. Thomas’ 21 saves is the most in the tournament through three matches.
Blue Devils Upset No. 6 Florida, Down Arkansas... Duke registered a 1-0 win on Nov. 22 in the NCAA second round against sixth-ranked Florida. Senior Natasha Anasi collected a first half goal and the Blue Devil defense held strong to lead Duke to the victory. Meghan Thomas added seven saves in goal for Duke over 90 minutes. Kim DeCesare and Mollie Pathman notched assists for the second straight NCAA match. Duke backed up the Florida win by advancing in penalty kicks, 5-3, after producing a 2-2 ledger through two overtimes. DeCesare notched both goals for the Blue Devils, while Ali Kershner came in during penalty kicks to stop one attempt from the Razorbacks. Junior Kelly Cobb registered the match-clinching penalty kick for the second time in the tournament.
ACC Advancing.. The ACC has an NCAA record six teams still alive in the 2013 NCAA Championship. Boston College, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech will play in the quarterfinals with a spot in the College Cup on the line. Prior to the 2013 Championship the ACC placed a record four teams in the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2011. The ACC is guaranteed at least two teams in the 2013 College Cup to be held Dec. 6 -8 in Cary, N.C., and at least one team in the College Cup final.
Active NCAA Games Played Leaders... Among active career stat leaders, Duke’s Natasha Anasi and Laura Weinberg each are tied for the NCAA lead with 96 games played over the last four years. Kaitlyn Kerr (Duke) is second with 95 matches. The 96 matches played by Anasi and Weinberg are new school records at Duke.
Duhl Plays Big Minutes in First NCAA Action... After competing in only 94 minutes and seven matches in the regular season, Duke redshirt freshman Danielle Duhl came off the bench at Colorado College and played a career-high 68 minutes. She attempted her second career shot in the second half that nearly went in, but the Tiger goalkeeper was able to get her outstretched hand up and bat it away in the corner. Duhl came off the bench against Florida and Arkansas and played 36 minutes in each contest. She attempted one shot versus the Gators and a career-high two against Arkansas.
Consecutive Starts... Senior defender Natasha Anasi owns a team-best 72-game consecutive starts streak. Over her career, Anasi has helped lead Duke to 39 shutouts on the defensive end. She is a two-time All-America and MAC Hermann Trophy watch list selection. The 72 straight starts is fifth in Duke’s record books.