DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey program held its first practices of the 2013 season Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16 at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
Under the direction of head coach Pam Bustin, the Blue Devils will conduct preseason camp for a little over a week before making the short trip to Chapel Hill, N.C. to scrimmage against North Carolina Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. The squad will officially open the season at home against Indiana Friday, Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.
Duke returns 15 letterwinners from last year’s team, including 2012 All-Atlantic Coast Conference selections Paula Heimbach and Emmie Le Marchand. Heimbach and Le Marchand are joined by fellow seniors Ashley Camano, Grace Christus, Brenna Rescigno and McKay Ross, as well as graduate students Devon Gagliardi and Cherry Seaborn, to form a strong group of upperclassmen players.
“The size and personnel of this senior class will absolutely benefit the team,” Bustin said. “This group has been through the trials and tribulations of a program in transition and have emerged as responsible, goal-oriented leaders of this program.”
In addition to the home opener against Indiana on Aug. 30, the squad will host 11 other contests at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Duke will face eight of the 16 teams that appeared in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, including reigning national champion Princeton and 2012 semifinalists North Carolina, Maryland and Syracuse.
The 2012 campaign saw the Blue Devils compile a 7-11 record, posting two wins over ranked opponents.
“Our number one program goal for this fall is to continue the work done last spring in solidifying the identity of Duke field hockey as a hard-working, skillful, conscientious championship team,” Bustin said. “We will put the focus on our love for this sport and our love for the challenge of competition while representing Duke University.”