DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey program completed a historic season in 2013, advancing to the NCAA championship game for the fourth time in school history and the first time since 2005. Under the direction of NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year Pam Bustin, the Blue Devils compiled a 17-7 ledger and concluded the fall ranked fifth in the final Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll.
Duke Reaches NCAA Championship Game
The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA championship game for the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2005, falling to Connecticut by a 2-0 score … Duke reached the title match with a 3-2 semifinal upset of top-ranked and top-seeded Maryland … The program made its fifth appearance in the national semifinals and first since 2006 after topping No. 16 New Hampshire and No. 10 Massachusetts in the NCAA first and second rounds in Durham.
Bustin Tabbed NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year
Head coach Pam Bustin was named the 2013 South Region Coach of the Year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association in her third season at the helm of the program … Under her direction, the squad increased its scoring production from a year ago and concluded the season ranked among the national leaders in goals against average … Bustin earned the 200th victory of her coaching career in the NCAA semifinal win over Maryland Nov. 22 and owns a career record of 200-154 (38-26 at Duke) … She was previously named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2011, her first season in Durham.
Duke in the NCAA Championship
The Blue Devils own an all-time record of 18-12 in the NCAA Championship while making four trips to the title match (2003, 2004, 2005, 2013) … This fall’s selection to the tournament marked the 12th in program history and second under the guidance of head coach Pam Bustin … Duke is 0-4 all-time in championship contests after falling to Connecticut, 2-0, in this year’s title match in Norfolk, Va.
Three Blue Devils Garner All-America Honors
Duke’s trio of Lauren Blazing, Paula Heimbach and Emmie Le Marchand were selected to the 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America teams … Heimbach was named to the first team, Le Marchand to the second team and Blazing to the third team … Heimbach and Le Marchand received the second All-America nods of their respective careers and Blazing enjoyed a breakout season in goal to earn the first All-America accolade of her career … The three selections were the most for the program since the 2011 season, while the ACC placed a nation-high 16 players across the three All-America squads.
Duke in the National Landscape
In the final edition of the NCAA’s Division I team statistics, the Blue Devils ranked sixth nationally in save percentage with a .791 clip … The team was also among the top 25 teams in the country in winning percentage (16th, .708), goals against average (18th, 1.47) and scoring margin (24th, 0.93).
Five Blue Devils Named to All-Region Team
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing, senior defender Paula Heimbach and senior forward Emmie Le Marchand were selected to the 2013 NFHCA All-South Region first team ... Sophomore midfielder Aileen Johnson and sophomore defender Amanda Kim were honored on the second team ... Le Marchand garnered the fourth all-region nod of her career.
Balanced Scoring by Blue Devil Offense
Fourteen different Duke players tallied a point in 24 games this fall … Thirteen different Blue Devils registered a goal, led by senior Emmie Le Marchand with 17 … Le Marchand paced the squad and finished the season ranked third in the ACC with an average of 2.00 points per game … Junior midfielder Abby Beltrani totaled a career-best 10 assists to rank 10th in the ACC in that category along with Le Marchand was third with 14 assists … Five different players scored in Duke’s 6-0 win over Radford Sept. 22 and four different players tallied a goal in the squad’s 4-1 NCAA quarterfinal victory against No. 10 Massachusetts Nov. 17.
Le Marchand Finishes Career Among Program Leaders
After topping the 100-point mark for her career early in the season, senior forward Emmie Le Marchand continued to etch her name into the program record books before closing her career … With 139 points over her four seasons, the Worcester, England, product stands fifth overall in school history … Le Marchand also ranks seventh all-time in career goals (55) and ninth in career assists (29) … Her 48 points this season were a career-best output and are tied for ninth all-time on Duke’s single season list … Le Marchand collected All-America second team, NCAA All-Tournament team, All-South Region first team, ACC All-Tournament team and All-ACC second team accolades during her senior season.
Blazing One of Nation’s Top Goalkeepers
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper and Durham, N.C., product Lauren Blazing concluded the season ranked second in the ACC and fifth among all Division I goalkeepers in save percentage with an .792 clip in 24 games … She compiled a 1.48 goals against average in addition to guiding the defense to four shutouts … The Durham, N.C., native was named the ACC Player of the Week and the Ronald McDonald House Charities Duke Student-Athlete of the Week following a career-high 22-save performance in a 3-2 shootout win over previously top-ranked and unbeaten North Carolina Sept. 27 … She also earned a spot on the All-South Region first team, All-ACC Tournament team and All-ACC second team in addition to garnering third team All-America accolades.
Heimbach Anchors Back Line
Senior defender Paula Heimbach was one of the Blue Devils’ most dependable backs in 2013 and throughout her career … An All-ACC honoree and Longstreth/NFHCA third team All-America selection last fall, Heimbach once again garnered All-America, All-South Region and All-ACC recognition this year … She tallied the Blue Devils’ first defensive save of the year against Syracuse Oct. 11 … Heimbach and the Duke defense posted four shutouts on the year and allowed just 1.58 goals per game.
Duke in the ACC Championship
The Blue Devils topped Virginia by a 2-1 score in the ACC quarterfinals before falling short despite a rallying effort against No. 1 Maryland in the semifinals … Facing a 2-0 deficit at halftime against the Terrapins, Duke rallied to tie the score with 3:17 remaining but fell, 3-2 … Boston College hosted the tournament in Newton, Mass. … The Blue Devils own an all-time record of 16-31 in the conference tournament while making three trips to the final match (1990, 2003, 2011).
Scheduling the Best
Duke’s 2013 slate included 13 teams ranked in the top 20 of the final NFHCA Coaches Poll and 11 squads that made the NCAA Championship field … The Blue Devils topped previously unbeaten and top-ranked North Carolina, 3-2, in a thrilling overtime shootout Sept. 27 in Chapel Hill … The Blue Devils also defeated No. 1 Maryland, 3-2, in the NCAA semifinals Nov. 22 to advance to the championship match.
Duke’s eight-member senior class of Ashley Camano, Grace Christus, Devon Gagliardi, Paula Heimbach, Emmie Le Marchand, Brenna Rescigno, McKay Ross and graduate student Cherry Seaborn completed a historic four years with the program … The group of seniors guided the Blue Devils to a 46-37 record over their careers as well as an NCAA quarterfinals appearance in 2011 and a title match appearance in 2013.