DURHAM, N.C. – Five different Blue Devils registered goals as the ninth-ranked Duke field hockey squad topped Radford, 6-0, in non-conference action Sunday, Sept. 22 at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
Duke (6-2) outshot the visiting Highlanders 37-2 for the contest, with eight different players combining for 19 shots on goal. The six goals marked the highest scoring output of the season by the Blue Devils, while the 37 shots were the most by a Duke team since the program tallied 38 in a 10-1 win over Appalachian State Oct. 25, 2008.
“I thought today we came out taking much better care of the ball,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “One of the things we wanted to improve from Friday were our basic skills. I thought we were more deliberate and a lot more disciplined in how we took care of the ball both on our stick and in the passing game.”
Senior Brenna Rescigno struck first for the Blue Devils, converting on a penalty corner opportunity in the fifth minute of the match. Redshirt senior Devon Gagliardi found junior Jessica Buttinger open at the back post just a few minutes later to quickly make it a 2-0 Duke advantage.
The Blue Devil defense and midfield continued to create offensive opportunities throughout the first period, setting up a pair of goals off of penalty corner opportunities. Graduate student Cherry Seaborn punched in a touch from Rescigno in the 18th minute and sophomore Hannah Barreca made it 4-0 in Duke’s favor just before the end of the half.
At the break, the Blue Devils led in shots by a 17-2 margin and in penalty corners, 7-0.
“Coming from a disappointing game on Friday, what we did really well was not let that faze us,” Seaborn said. “We really came out hard from the start … The [37 shots] shows that we’re getting up and getting the shots off and converting on corners as well.”
Strong outlet passing and aggressive play up front resulted in Duke’s fifth goal at the 23:53 mark in the second half, as Gagliardi scored off of a pass from freshman Hunter Bracale. An own goal by Radford following a great run downfield by freshman Heather Morris capped the 6-0 Blue Devil victory.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing picked up the win, posting one save in the contest, while senior Ashley Camano also saw time in the cage during the second half. Sidney Encarnacion and Jillian Lates split time in goal for the Highlanders, recording nine and two saves, respectively.
“We’re still working on a lot of things,” Bustin said. “I thought today gave us the opportunity to put more people in different positions so we could work on some of our structural things like our pressing ideas and some of our outlet ideas. And I though the entire team did a great job on staying disciplined and practicing those formations.”
Up next, Duke opens ACC play Friday, Sept. 27 when it makes the short trip to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina at 6 p.m.