#1 Virginia (9-0-0, 3-0-0) at #22 Duke (4-4-2, 1-2-1) Thursday, Sept. 26 • 7:00 PM • Durham, N.C. Koskinen Stadium • ACC Digital Network
#13 Va. Tech (8-1-1, 3-1-0) at #22 Duke (4-4-2, 1-2-1) Sunday, Sept. 29 • 2:00 PM • Durham, N.C. Koskinen Stadium • Blue Devil Network
Blue Devils Host Virginia & Virginia Tech This Week... The 22nd-ranked Duke women’s soccer team (4-4-2, 1-2-1 ACC) will return home this week to host a pair of league contests against top-ranked Virginia (9-0-0, 3-0-0) and 13th-ranked Virginia Tech (8-1-1, 3-1-0) at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils will welcome the Cavaliers on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:00 p.m., followed by taking on the Hokies on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2:00 p.m. Duke’s contest against Virginia on Sept. 26 will be aired live on the ACC Digital Network with Tom Werme (PXP), John Rennie (Color) and Jeff Fischel (Host). The Blue Devil Network will air the Virginia Tech match on Sept. 29 with John Roth (PXP) calling the match. The Blue Devils will go up against its fifth top 10 opponent over the last seven contests when it faces No. 1 Virginia on Thursday.
A Look at Virginia... Virginia enters the week with a 9-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 league mark. The Cavaliers have outscored their ACC foes by an 8-2 mark. Overall, Virginia has outscored its opponents this season by a 33-5 ledger. Makenzy Doniak (8 goals, 5 assists), Morgan Brian (6 goals, 8 assists) and Brittany Ratcliffe (6 goals, 1 assist) have led the Cavaliers so far this season. A total of 10 different players have scored at least one goal this year for Virginia.
The Series with Virginia... Duke and Virginia will meet for the 35th time in school history with the Cavaliers leading the series by a 15-12-7 mark. The Blue Devils are coming off notching a 3-1 win at Virginia a year ago in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, which was played in Charlottesville, Va. In matches played in Durham, Duke has totaled a 4-6-3 overall mark and a the Blue Devils are winless over the last four contests played (0-3-1). The last Duke win at home against Virginia came on Oct. 18, 2003 with a 1-0 victory. The Blue Devils have posted five wins over the Cavaliers since the 2003, but all wins have come in the month of November.
A Look at Virginia Tech... Virginia Tech sports an 8-1-1 overall and a 3-1-0 record in ACC action. The Hokies have been led by Jazmine Reeves (7 goals, 4 assists), Ashley Meier (5 goals, 2 assists) and Murielle Tiernan (5 goals, 4 assists). Virginia Tech has notched five shutouts in 10 matches this season, while outscoring its last two opponents by a 4-0 ledger.
Blue Devils vs. No. 1... Duke is 2-14 all-time when playing the top-ranked team in the nation. The Blue Devils’ upsets include a 2-1 win over No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Oct. 9, 2005 and a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame on Aug. 28, 2011 in the Carolina Nike Classic.
Gibbons to Face Former Teammate... Duke freshman Christina Gibbons will go up against her former club teammate Alexis Shaffer of Virginia on Thursday. The duo played together on the ‘94 CASL Chelsea squad that won the 2012 U-17 and 2011 U-16 ECNL National Championships.
Tough Last Three Matches... After allowing only four goals the first seven matches, Duke has let seven tallies over the last three contests. It marks the first time the Blue Devils have allowed two or more goals in three straight matches since the 2010 campaign (WFU, MD, FSU).
Challenging Schedule... Duke’s non-conference schedule was one of the toughest in the nation featuring four ranked opponents -- No. 4 UCLA, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 18 West Virginia and then No. 12 Texas A&M.. The four ranked foes have combined for a 26-7-3 mark early this season.
Slow Scoring Start... After the Blue Devils posted a school-record 207 points a year ago, Duke opened the 2013 season with a slow start scoring five goals in the first six matches. The five goals in six matches was the lowest output in school history to start the year. The previous low was eight in 2005. Duke also had nine goals in six matches in 1996 and 1998.
In the NCAA Stats... After ranking in the top 10 of most of the offensive categories last year, Duke currently ranks 198th in scoring offense with a 1.2 per game average. The Blue Devils are 110th in goals-against average (1.053), 153rd in assists (1.0) and 182nd in points (4.0) per game. Virginia ranks second nationally in scoring offense (3.67), first in assists (4.0) and first in points (11.0) per match. Makenzy Doniak ranks 12th in points per game (2.33) and Morgan Brian is third in assists (0.89). Virginia Tech is 24th in scoring offense (2.6), 31st in points (7.0) and 47th in assists (2.0) per game. Jazmine Reeves is 48th in points per game (1.8).
First NCAA RPI Released... The first NCAA RPI was released this week with Duke ranked No. 44 overall. The Blue Devils’ challenging schedule shows in the RPI -- losses to Florida State (1), Wake Forest (2), UCLA (11), South Carolina (15). This week the Blue Devils will face No. 3 Virginia and No. 10 Virginia Tech.
Kershner Playing Big for Blue Devils... Blue Devil redshirt sophomore Ali Kershner has been waiting for two years behind four-year starting keeper Tara Campbell to make her first start. Kershner was given the opportunity on Aug. 23 at 12th-ranked Texas A&M and made the most of her chance notching a shutout and three saves over 90 minutes. On Sept. 1 versus New Mexico, Kershner netted her second straight shutout in a 1-0 victory. She became the first Duke goalkeeper in school history to register two shutouts in her first two collegiate starts. She had her best performance against Miami with a career-high five saves, including a penalty kick save in the first half. Kershner now owns three shutouts and a 1.12 goals-against average. Her three shutouts ranks tied for sixth in the ACC. Kershner had played in five matches in 2012 prior to this season.
Duke Battling Injuries... The Blue Devils have had their share of injuries in 2013 as Duke has been without starters Cassie Pecht and Gilda Doria for the entire season, while also not having the services of potential starter Alex Straton. Since the season started, starting freshman midfielder Rebecca Quinn went down with a foot injury and starting defender Tabria Williford suffered a concussion. Both Pecht and Doria are likely to miss the entire season, while Quinn is expected to be out a couple more weeks, Straton is out for the season, while Williford returned to the pitch at Wake Forest. Pecht and Doria have combined for 13 goals and 35 assists over their career.
Noting Duke... • With assists in the past two contests, Duke freshman Toni Payne owns three assists on the year, which is tied for the team lead. • The Blue Devils have scored at least one goal in the last eight matches and have been shutout only once this season (at South Carolina). • Duke owns a 1-3-1 overall record this season in matches played on Sunday. • Redshirt junior Meghan Thomas notched her first collegiate shutout against Kennesaw State and owns a 0.67 goals-against average in two matches in 2013. • Duke featured five freshmen starting against New Mexico. • The Blue Devils have scored four goals this season in the first half and two of those came at Syracuse on Sept. 22. • Duke has outshot its opponents in the opening 10 matches by a 179-110 ledger. • Freshman Christina Gibbons leads Duke with 938 minutes played so far this season. She has seen action in all but two minutes on the defensive end. • The Blue Devils feature tri-captains in 2013 with Kim DeCesare, Gilda Doria and Kaitlyn Kerr getting the nod from their teammates. • Duke returned 95.4 percent of its scoring from the 2012 season, including 62 of 65 goals scored. • Dating back to the 2011 campaign, 11 of the 12 Blue Devil losses have been by one goal. • Duke is coming off advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth time out of the last six years. • The Blue Devils welcome the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the nation.
Consecutive Starts... Senior defender Natasha Anasi owns a team-best 60-game consecutive starts streak. Over her career, Anasi has helped lead Duke to 36 shutouts on the defensive end. She is a two-time All-America and MAC Hermann Trophy watch list selection.
In the Rankings... Duke moved out of the Soccer America national rankings this week for the first time since the 10 campaign, but is still listed No. 22 in the SoccerTimes.com poll. Virginia is listed No. 1 in the Soccer America, NSCAA, SoccerTimes.com and the TopDrawerSoccer.com ledgers. Virginia Tech is ranked No. 13 in the Soccer America, No. 16 in the NSCAA, No. 19 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com and No. 15 in the SoccerTimes.com polls.
Weinberg Moving Up Career Charts... Senior Laura Weinberg has totaled seven points this season, which all have come over the last four matches. She collected three assists against Miami (2) and Florida State (1) followed by goals at Wake Forest and Syracuse. Weinberg moved into third place on Duke’s all-time points list with 93 and is only two away from second place (Casey McCluskey, 95). Weinberg owns 36 career goals, which ranks No. 3 on the Blue Devil charts. She is only four away from tying McCluskey (40) for second. Weinberg totaled a career-high 16 goals and 12 assists in 2012 and is only 25 points away from matching the Duke career points mark of 117 held by Kelly Walbert.