DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s field hockey team went undefeated Sunday, March 24th at the team’s annual spring tournament at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Three teams joined the Blue Devils in the round robin event including Wake Forest, Virginia and American.
“Despite horrible weather conditions Sunday, we found our rhythm,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “We overcame Mother Nature’s adversities and worked together to identify problem areas, find solutions and accentuate our strengths. The result was a Duke team that at times truly dominated play. We played as a team. Our ball movement was impressive, our fitness is close to where it needs to be and our hockey minds were sharp. This weekend was a great starting point and measure for our 2013 campaign.”
The Blue Devils kicked off the event with a 1-0 victory over Virginia, who concluded last season ranked No. 7 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) rankings. Freshman forward Sarah Urdahl scored an outstanding goal to lead the squad to victory, with sophomore Jessica Buttinger collecting the assist.
In the second game of the day, the Blue Devils tied American 0-0, before facing off against conference foe Wake Forest, where All-ACC honoree Emma Le Marchand scored two goals to lead the squad past the Demon Deacons, 2-1. Le Marchand’s first goal was unassisted, while the second goal was assisted by sophomore Martine Chichizola. Le Marchand, a native of Worcester, England, led the team in scoring during the 2012 campaign with 11 goals, while also recording five assists.
After going 2-0-1 in the first three games, Duke entered the cross over round in first place, followed by American, Virginia and Wake Forest respectively in the standings, pitting the squad against Demon Deacons for the opportunity to play in the Gold Medal game.
In the semifinal matchup, the Blue Devils topped Wake Forest 2-0 to advance to the Gold Medal game against Virginia, who downed American 1-0. Duke’s first goal came in the early moments when Le Marchand received a pass from Chichizola, and was sealed when junior McKay Ross buried a shot that she received from freshman Aileen Johnson. The final match was cancelled due to inclement weather and team travel.
The squad will next take to the field April 6, as they play host to Iowa, North Carolina and Wake Forest in the Duke Spring Challenge Weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.