DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance, the Duke women’s soccer team has been tabbed No. 20 in the final NSCAA/HendrickCars.com national rankings.
The Blue Devils posted an 11-8-4 overall and 4-5-1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during a season which featured a lineup of 10 freshmen and sophomores. The top three scorers on the squad were freshmen -- Laura Weinberg (10 goals, 2 assists, 22 points), Mollie Pathman (8 goals, five assists, 21 points) and Kaitlyn Kerr (4 goals, 5 assists, 13 points).
Taking the top slot in the poll was national champion Notre Dame followed by Stanford, Boston College, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Florida State, Portland, Virginia and Maryland in the top 10. At No. 11 was Marquette with Florida, West Virginia, UC Irvine, Washington, Texas A&M, Oregon State, Georgetown, Santa Clara, Duke, Minnesota, UCLA, UNC Greensboro, South Carolina and Wake Forest closing out the poll.
In goal for the Blue Devils was sophomore Tara Campbell, who posted a career-best eight shutouts and a 1.05 goals-against average. A product of Cincinnati, Ohio, Campbell started all 23 matches in the net.
As a team, Duke played some of its best soccer towards the end of the season as the Blue Devils knocked off California, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Duke then defeated fifth-ranked Florida, 4-2, in penalty kicks to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time out of the last four years. The season came to a close at No. 6 Oklahoma State with a 2-0 loss. Duke won five out of its last 10 matches to conclude the season with the four losses coming against top 10 teams.
Duke is set to return all 11 starters for 2011, while welcoming back its top eight scorers from this past season. The Blue Devils are expected to return a total of 18 letterwinners and will bring in another solid recruiting class to the mix under the direction of Head Coach Robbie Church.