N.C. State (6-11-0, 1-10-0) at Duke (6-6-4, 3-4-3) Thursday, Oct. 24 • 7:00 PM • Durham, N.C. Koskinen Stadium • Blue Devil Network
Blue Devils Return Home to Host N.C. State on Thursday... After being on the road the entire month of October, the Duke women’s soccer team (6-6-4, 3-4-3 ACC) will return home on Thursday, Oct. 24 as the Blue Devils host N.C. State (6-11-0, 1-10-0) at 7:00 p.m., in Koskinen Stadium. The match will be aired live on the Blue Devil Network with John Roth (PXP) and Maddy Haller (Color) calling the action. Thursday will mark Duke’s annual cancer awareness contest. Early arriving fans will receive a free pink Duke rally towel. The Blue Devils will close its regular season home schedule on Sunday, Oct. 27 by hosting Pittsburgh at 1:00 p.m. It will mark senior day for eight Blue Devils -- Mollie Pathman, Kaitlyn Kerr, Avery Rape, Natasha Anasi, Alex Straton, Meghan Thomas, Laura Weinberg and Gilda Doria. Redshirt senior Kim DeCesare will also be playing in her final match, but she was recognized last year and will not participate in the ceremony.
Cancer Awareness Game Thursday... The Blue Devils, who will be wearing pink jerseys for the match, will hold a silent auction to raise money that will go to the Morgan Blazek family. Morgan is a native of Apex, N.C., and is eight years old. In May of 2007, she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, which is cancer of the retinas. The original diagnosis she had two weeks to live and upon surgery Morgan had one of her eyes removed, which put her on the path to recovery. In July, Duke teamed with Morgan and since then she has come out to practices, games and had a chance to spend quality time with the Blue Devils. Some of the items available for the silent auction will be – two team signed soccer balls, two team signed posters, three team signed pink shirts, two tickets to the Duke football game against N.C. State on Nov. 9 and two tickets to the Duke men’s basketball game against Davidson on Nov. 8.
A Look at N.C. State... N.C. State enters the match on Thursday with a 6-11-0 overall and 1-10-0 league mark. Jackie Stengel (9 goals, 1 assist) leads the Wolfpack on the season, while Brittany Stanko and Caroline Gentry each own four goals.
The Series with N.C. State... Duke and N.C. State will meet for the 30th time in school history with the Blue Devils leading the overall series, 18-10-1. The Blue Devils own a 12-game winning streak against the Wolfpack and in matches played in Durham, N.C., Duke has a 7-5-1 mark. Duke has won seven consecutive contests at Koskinen Stadium versus N.C. State and have not lost to the Wolfpack at home since Oct. 8, 1996 (3-1).
Duke Nets Key Overtime Win at No. 9 Notre Dame... With less than two minutes remaining in double-overtime at No. 9 Notre Dame, Laura Weinberg made a great play on the Irish goalkeeper to steal the ball and score her 10th career game-winner to give Duke the much-needed three points in the league standings. Duke moved into a tie for ninth place in the standings with three games left.
Duke at Home... With two regular season home matches remaining, the Blue Devils look to finish strong at Koskinen Stadium. On the season so far, Duke has totaled a 1-3-2 mark at home and have not won at home since Sept. 12 versus Miami (3-0). The Blue Devils have scored only nine goals in six matches at home with Kelly Cobb leading the way with three. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Meghan Thomas will make her home debut as each of her five appearances have been on the road.
Against the ACC... So far this season, Laura Weinberg and Kelly Cobb have led Duke with four goals each against ACC opponents. Freshman Toni Payne has three goals and two assists. Weinberg owns 21 career goals against ACC opponents, which is the most by any Blue Devil in school history -- Walbert (16), Kester (15), Gummersall (15). With 53 career points versus ACC foes, Weinberg is Duke’s all-time leading scorer with the next closest being Walbert (37).
Thomas Helps Big in the Net... After missing the last 10 matches with a shoulder injury, redshirt junior Meghan Thomas has started the last three matches, leading Duke to a 2-0-1 mark in those contests. In those games, Thomas has posted one shutout, a 0.58 goals-against average and 19 saves. The 6-2 goalkeeper’s nine saves at Maryland was the most by a Blue Devil keeper all season. Thomas came back to collect eight saves at ninth-ranked Notre Dame in a double-overtime win. For her efforts at Maryland, Thomas was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week and to the CS360 Primetime Performers list on Oct. 15.
Hey, I Know You... Duke assistant coach Steve Springthorpe will face his former team of N.C. State on Thursday for the first time since he was the head coach of the Wolfpack the previous four seasons.
NCAA RPI... The fifth NCAA RPI was released this week with Duke moving to No. 22. The Blue Devils’ challenging schedule shows in the RPI -- losses to Virginia (1), Florida State (8), Wake Forest (11), UCLA (2) and South Carolina (15).
Consecutive Starts... Senior defender Natasha Anasi owns a team-best 65-game consecutive starts streak. Over her career, Anasi has helped lead Duke to 37 shutouts on the defensive end. She is a two-time All-America and MAC Hermann Trophy watch list selection. The 65 straight starts is tied for seventh in Duke’s record books.