WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Duke field hockey team is over a week into preseason where it has been practicing hard through two-a-days and scrimmaged Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils fell to the Demon Deacons 4-1, but head coach Pam Bustin was encouraged with the team's overall performance.
"We are grateful for today's scrimmage," Bustin commented. "The opportunity to play a full match against a team other than our own is extremely valuable. Today we were able to see where we are as a group in terms of our organizational understanding, fitness and decision making."
The Blue Devils lone goal was scored by junior Brenna Rescigno off a corner late in the first half. Senior Chelsea Amsley inserted the ball into stopper junior Grace Christus. Junior Emmie Le Marchand made a quick pass off of Christus' stop to Rescigno, who had an open look from the top left side of the circle for the score.
"I am very pleased with our skill level and creativity with the ball," Bustin added. "We can definitely make improvements with our off-ball play on both sides of the 50. Today was exactly what we needed as we fine tune our collective game in preparation for our opening weekend."
In other news from the week, sophomores Abby Beltrani and Lauren Blazing along with freshmen Aileen Johnson and Hannah Barreca left Thursday for a week of training with the U-21 National Team in College Park, Md. In September, the squad will compete in the Junior Pan American Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The Blue Devils officially open up their season in Philadelphia, Pa., where they will face Drexel on Friday, August 24 and Temple on Sunday, August 26.