DURHAM, N.C. -- Its second semester which means that Duke Women's Soccer (DWS) has begun its journey to repeat as intramural basketball champions. Coming off of the program's most successful season in history, DWS looks to replace star Lithuanian guard, Jane Alukonis. However the addition of freshman Natasha Anasi, Meghan Thomas and Mollie Pathman along with the basketball debuts of previously injured redshirt freshman Callie Simpkins and redshirt sophomore Ashley Rape should help fill the seams and gaps.
The team also returns true sophomores Maddy Haller and Libby Jandl and juniors Stefanie Fee and Ali Comolli. Led by its class of six seniors, Rebecca Allen, Kendall Bradley, Carey Goodman, Marybeth 'Fly' Kreger, Gretchen 'Gmilla' Miller, and Lynnea Pappas look to add experience and flair to DWS' young lineup. Bradley and Goodman once again serve as captains for the squad with Molly Lester working as head manager and Meghan Fitzgerald serving as associate head coach and coordinator of the DWS cheerleaders and halftime show.
The Blue Devils started its season winning its first two games by forfeit. Instead of going home, DWS used the time to play an intersquad scrimmage, which featured the outstanding post play by Thomas, behind-the-back passes by Rape and sharp shooting by Fee. The team looked stronger than ever as it shook off some of its rust from the long off-season.
DWS was ready to go as it prepared to take on its first opponent on January 30th. The game remained close in the opening minutes but a key three pointer by Pappas and an impressive no look assist on the fast break by Miller allowed the Devils to gain momentum. After a physical first half of play, with both teams being warned at halftime, DWS began to pull away after the break with its defensive pressure and ability to convert off of turnovers.
Although captain Carey Goodman was thrown to the floor in the waning minutes of the game, DWS stayed composed and earned the victory with a score of 43-32. A week later, DWS cruised to an easy 47-18 win despite a thin roster. Fee led the team in scoring with Haller and Kreger making key contributions throughout the game.
The win places DWS in first place, followed closely in the standings by its next opponent, Duke PT, and last year's runner-up, the Blue Ballers. DWS takes on Duke PT Thursday night in a crucial game with playoff implications. Check back in for updates throughout the season as DWS tries to return to Cameron for a second straight year!