It’s been a long time since last season and you may be wondering what Duke women’s soccer has been up to since you last saw us in action! Well, the truth is we’ve been very busy getting stronger in the weight room, fitter and faster on the field and most importantly, growing as a team.
Despite saying goodbye to six seniors last season, quite a few of them returned to practice with us as they prepared for their upcoming professional seasons. This not only allowed us to simulate more game like situations, but also gave us the chance to play with them for just a little while longer. As a bonus, they always impressed us with their lack of practice uniform coordination.
Not only have we been practicing and conditioning, we have also gotten to play a few games. While we joke that we purposefully seek out the hardest matchups we can find, I can’t tell you how lucky we are to get to scrimmage schools that will likely be tournament teams in November. The results may not count but we are well aware that the experience gained while playing these teams can make a huge difference come fall.
That being said, we began our spring campaign against our favorite light blue rival: North Carolina. Despite being called a scrimmage, I don’t know if you could have classified it as such because it was obvious that bragging rights were on the line. We tied, 0-0, however the score was anything but representative of the effort put forth by both teams. It was a great test of where we were physically and mentally.
A few days before spring break, we travelled to Elon to get in one more match before our week off. And per usual, spring break came at the perfect time, giving us all a little break and the chance to refuel before entering the second half of the spring season.
After getting back from trips all around the country (and world), we had to quickly get our focus back because a rematch of our 2013 NCAA second round tilt with Florida loomed that weekend. Knowing that they were returning a majority of their starters we definitely had our work cut out for us. High paced, and high scoring, the game lived up to its hype as goals were scored at the very beginning and end of the match, amounting to a final score of 2-2. All in all, we showed a lot of potential and resiliency.
In other news, we have recently begun scrimmaging the Duke men’s club soccer team every week. They are a great imitation of the level we strive to be at in terms of quickness and power, so each session with them makes us that much better. It also provides us with a little extra game experience to get us ready to finish the spring campaign with NC State and Wake Forest at the annual ACC Tournament next weekend and Virginia the next week.
Then it will be time to finish classes and get our summer preparations started. Before you know it, soccer season will be here!