DURHAM, N.C. – Nearly four months removed from one of the best seasons in program history, the Duke Blue Devils are gearing up for their 30th campaign on the pitch as head coach Robbie Church announced the squad’s 2018 schedule Wednesday.
The 18-game campaign features seven opponents that participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including conference foes Virginia and Notre Dame, who both advanced to the Round of 16. The Blue Devils will play 10 of their contests within the friendly confines of Koskinen Stadium, six on the road and two at a neutral site.
Headlined by the Cavaliers and Fighting Irish, Duke’s seven opponents who made appearances in the 2017 NCAA Tournament include ACC rivals Clemson, NC State and Wake Forest along with Georgetown and Ohio State.
Duke will open the year with a pair of home exhibition contests, taking on former Blue Devil assistant coach of 14 years Billy Lesesne and his Georgia Bulldogs (Thursday, Aug. 9) along with rival North Carolina (Sunday, Aug. 12) at Koskinen.
The 2018 regular season officially kicks off Aug. 17-19 in Chapel Hill at the 2018 Carolina Nike Tournament, as Duke takes on Ohio State on Friday, Aug. 17 and Illinois on Sunday, Aug. 19. Church’s squad will then hit the road for its first true road game, battling Georgetown Thursday, Aug. 23.
Koskinen will see its first regular season action Sunday, Aug. 26 when Duke opens a five-match home stand against Elon. The Blue Devils will face Marquette (Friday, Aug. 31) and Providence (Sunday, Sept. 2) the following weekend when it hosts the 2018 Duke Nike Classic. Duke’s home stand will come to a close with a Thursday, Sept. 6 showdown against Nebraska, followed by a Sunday afternoon matchup with Old Dominion (Sept. 9). Following those two contests, the Blue Devils will head into ACC play, opening on the road at Syracuse (Sunday, Sept. 16) and Miami (Thursday, Sept. 20).
Church and his team will return home Sunday, Sept. 23 for a showdown against Virginia, who the Blue Devils defeated twice last year, including a 1-0 victory in the ACC Championship Semifinals.
The Blue Devils will get back on the road following the clash with UVA for a Saturday, Sept. 29 matchup at NC State in Raleigh before making the short trip back home to host Wake Forest (Thursday, Oct. 4) and Virginia Tech (Sunday, Oct. 7). Duke will then sandwich two home games in between a pair of road contests to wrap up the regular season, traveling to Clemson (Saturday, Oct. 13) before welcoming Louisville (Thursday, Oct. 18) and Boston College (Sunday, Oct. 21) to Durham.
Duke’s 2018 regular season will wrap up on the road, as the Blue Devils head to South Bend, Ind., to take on Notre Dame Thursday, Oct. 25.
Seniors Kayla McCoy, Taylor Racioppi, Chelsea Burns and Kat McDonald headline a 2018 Duke squad that will look to carry the momentum from one of the most successful seasons in Duke women’s soccer history. Duke tallied a 23-2-1 record in 2017, earning its 23rd NCAA Tournament bid, second No. 1 seed and fourth trip to the College Cup. The Blue Devils also put together a perfect 10-0-0 ledger in conference play, capturing their third ACC regular season championship in school history.
Duke’s 2017 season featured a number of other impressive marks as well, headlined by a program best 19-game winning streak that stretched from Aug. 20 – Nov. 3 as well as setting the school records for shutouts (18), home wins (15), ACC wins (10), ranked victories (9) ACC shutouts (8) and ACC goal differential (+20).
Breaking It Down…
Overall: 18 games
ACC: 10 games
Home: 10 games
Away: 6 games
Neutral: 2 games
Exhibition: 2 games
2017 NCAA Tournament Participants On The Slate…
The Blue Devils will face seven opponents who took part in the 2017 NCAA Tournament: Virginia (Round of 16), Notre Dame (Round of 16), Clemson (Second Round), NC State (Second Round), Wake Forest (Second Round), Georgetown (First Round) and Ohio State (First Round).
First Time Opponents…
The 2018 DWS schedule will feature a pair of first-time opponents for the Blue Devils in Illinois (Aug. 19) and Georgetown (Aug. 23). Of their non-conference opponents, the Blue Devils have played Ohio State the most times, with their seventh meeting coming Aug. 17. Duke’s most common ACC foe is Virginia, who it will face off against for the 42nd time on Sept. 23 at Koskinen.
The ACC slate will open on the road for the Blue Devils with a Sunday, Sept. 16 matchup at Syracuse, which Duke defeated in New York last year, 2-0. Duke’s first home ACC action will come a week later as it hosts Virginia Sunday, Sept. 23 at Koskinen.
For more information on Duke women’s soccer, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.