DURHAM, N.C. – For the fifth straight game, the No. 17 Duke field hockey team will hit the road, traveling to University Park, Pa., to face No. 11 Penn State Saturday, Oct. 23 at 12 p.m.
Duke (8-8, 0-4 ACC) is coming off a sweep of William & Mary and No. 20 Old Dominion last weekend as the Blue Devils topped the Tribe, 1-0, before edging the Lady Monarchs, 4-3, in overtime.
Against William & Mary, freshman Emmie Le Marchand converted a penalty stroke in the 44th minute of play for the gamewinner. The Blue Devils dominated the Tribe throughout the contest, leading in both shots (14-4) and penalty strokes (9-1).
On Sunday, Duke jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead at Old Dominion with freshman Brenna Rescigno notching two goals off penalty corners and Le Marchand also recording a tally, but the Lady Monarchs came back in the second half to tie the game at three-all late in the second half. Forty-two seconds into the extra period, Le Marchand intercepted an ODU pass, leading to a breakaway for Duke and sophomore Mary Nielsen’s eventual game-winner.
Le Marchand, who was named the Ronald McDonald House Student-Athlete of the Week for her efforts, leads the Blue Devils on the season with 17 points on seven goals and three assists. The Worcester, England native’s point total marks the most by a Duke rookie since Amie Survilla also registered 17 points (8g, 1a) in 2006. Classmate Rescigno ranks second on the team with seven points on three goals and an assist, while senior Susan Ferger has also scored three goals on the year.
In goal, senior Samantha Nelson has played every minute for Duke, making 63 saves on the year to rank second in the conference.
After starting the season 1-2, Penn State has won eight of their last 10 games to enter Saturday’s contest with a 10-4 overall mark (3-2 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions have five players in double figure point totals for the season, led by Kelsey Amy with 29 points (13g, 3a) and Jessica Longstreth (6a, 11a). Goalkeeper Ayla Halus has started every game for Penn State, recording 79 saves for a .832 save percentage entering the weekend.
Duke will conclude the regular season on Oct. 30 at home against No. 3 Virginia before preparing for the ACC Tournament, held at Wake Forest Nov. 4-7.