DURHAM, N.C. – With the season opener at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium just weeks away, the Duke field hockey program’s preseason training is in full swing. Here are five storylines to follow heading into the 2018 campaign.
Paolino Shines for U.S. in World Cup
Blue Devil junior Margaux Paolino scored twice in three matches while representing the United States in July’s Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup in London. She found the back of the cage on a corner opportunity in Team USA’s World Cup opener against Ireland and put away a rebound early in the squad’s contest against India later in the tournament.
Paolino earned her first international cap with the U.S. women’s national team in February and was awarded a spot on the senior team roster in March. She was joined on Team USA’s World Cup roster by former Blue Devils Stefanie Fee (’12) and Lauren Blazing (’16).
Following a 3-1 loss to Ireland to begin the tournament, the U.S. earned a pair of 1-1 draws against England and India in Pool B action.
Breaking Down the 2018 Roster
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad returns 14 letterwinners and seven starters from the 2017 team, which compiled a 17-4 ledger, finished No. 2 in the final Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.
Graduate Student: Tessa Gote
Redshirt Junior: Sammi Steele
Challenging Schedule Awaits
Duke’s 2018 slate features 10 opponents who were selected to the 2017 NCAA Tournament field, including two of last year’s semifinalists.
The schedule is highlighted by seven contests at home in Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium, with ACC foes North Carolina, Virginia and Boston College set to visit Durham. The Blue Devils’ 11 road games feature a trip to College Park, Md., for the B1G/ACC Cup, as well as a neutral site matchup with Penn State in Philadelphia.
“It’s important for us and our consistency and our wanting to play a high level of hockey, not only at practice every day, but also in learning to take on challenges each weekend, to have such a strong schedule,” Bustin said. “I’m really proud of the schedule we have. It’s a heavy road schedule, which happens every few years, but I think this team will be able to adapt to that and do well.”
#DUFH Reunion Set for Homecoming Weekend
The Blue Devils will celebrate the past, present and future of the Duke field hockey program during the university’s Homecoming Weekend Sept. 21-23. The celebration weekend will begin Friday, Sept. 21 with the team’s 6 p.m. tilt against North Carolina at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Bustin will host a “Meet and Greet” with alumnae Saturday, Sept. 22. On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Blue Devils and alumnae return to Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium for a 1 p.m. matchup with James Madison.
In addition to the Blue Devils representing the United States at this summer’s World Cup, other members of the field hockey program remained busy during the summer months.
Junior back Jillian Wolgemuth traveled to Argentina with the U.S. U-21 women’s national team for a three-game test series against the country’s U-21 team. Wolgemuth then embarked for Vietnam with the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program (ACE). Throughout June and July she partnered with fellow student-athletes from Duke and Stanford to teach academics, sports and life skills to middle school youth at a summer camp. Junior midfielder Haley Schleicher recently returned to the U.S. following her time with the ACE in China program. Her efforts including coaching sports camps and leading education-focused workshops to local village children in Southwestern China.
In May, Duke assistant coach Ralph Boersma was named an assistant coach for USA Field Hockey’s U-19 women’s national team for the 2018-19 season. The following month saw five Blue Devils – senior Caroline Andretta, junior Kirby Comizio and sophomores Lexi Davidson, Lily Posternak and Libby Thompson – receive invitations to take part in USA Field Hockey’s 2018 Young Women’s National Championships.
Senior forward Rose Tynan competed in the Vantage National U-21 Tournament in New Zealand, racking up five goals, while back in the United States freshman Leah Crouse was invited to take part in USA Field Hockey’s December Junior National Team Training Camp, which will serve as the final tryout for selection to the 2019 U.S. U-19 and U-17 women’s national teams.