DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey team is set to face Virginia Thursday, Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the opening round of the 2010 ACC Field Hockey Championship, held on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Thursday’s contest will be the second meeting between the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers in less than a week as No. 3 Virginia outlasted Duke for a narrow, one-goal victory Saturday, Oct. 30. UVa’s Paige Selenski broke a scoreless tie in the second half to give the Cavaliers the 1-0 advantage, but Duke’s Tara Jennings knotted the score at one-all off a penalty corner opportunity. The Blue Devils would go on to outshoot Virginia 10-8 in the second period, in addition to earning eight penalty corners to seven for the Cavaliers, but UVa’s Elly Buckley was able to net the gamewinner with less than two minutes to play to give Virginia the win.Duke, ranked 20th in the NFHCA National Coaches Poll and 14th by womensfieldhockey.com, has been led on offense by freshman Emmie Le Marchand. The rookie from Worcester, England has amassed eight goals and three assists in 2010 as her 19 points this season is the most by a Duke rookie since Julie Tromp also registered 19 points in 2005. The Blue Devils’ have three players tied for second on the team with seven points apiece in freshman Brenna Rescigno, sophomore Mary Nielsen and junior pick Tara Jennings. Jennings and classmate Rhian Jones were both named to the 2010 All-ACC squad on Wednesday, Nov. 3.
In goal, Samantha Nelson ranks second in the conference in saves (71), save percentage (.732) and shutouts (5) as the Rockville, Md., native has played every minute for the Blue Devils this season. In addition, her .732 save percentage and 1.36 goals-against average are both career bests.
Virginia is led on the year by Paige Selenski (23g, 7a) and Elly Buckley (14g, 10 a) as the Cavaliers only two losses on the season came against No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 North Carolina.
This season marks the third consecutive year the two squads have faced off in the conference quarterfinals with Virginia taking the last two ACC Tournament meetings.
Live video coverage of the 2010 ACC Field Hockey Championship will be available for free through the ACC Network on the ACC.com. The winner of tomorrow’s match-up will move on to face second-seeded North Carolina Friday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 7 at 12 p.m.