DURHAM, N.C. – An array of 2018 NCAA Tournament teams and the rigorous Atlantic Coast Conference highlight a challenging 2019 schedule for the Duke Blue Devils, head coach Robbie Church announced on Friday.
Year 32 for the Duke women’s soccer program features 17 games in total and matchups against 11 teams that took part in 2018’s Big Dance, including three of the four College Cup participants and the national champions Florida State. Also included is national finalist and arch-rivals North Carolina and Georgetown.
A total of seven foes in Duke’s 2019 campaign reached the Round of 16, including ACC foes Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
The Blue Devils will play 10 of their contests within the friendly confines of Koskinen Stadium, with six on the road and one at a neutral site.
Duke will open the year with a pair of exhibition contests, starting at Koskinen against Campbell on Monday, Aug. 12. The Blue Devils will then travel to Athens, Ga., to take on former Blue Devil assistant coach of 14 years Billy Lesesne and his Georgia Bulldogs on Friday, Aug. 16.
The 2019 regular season officially kicks off Aug. 22-25 in Chapel Hill at the 2019 Carolina Nike Tournament, as Duke takes on LaSalle on Thursday, Aug. 22 before closing the weekend against rival North Carolina on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Koskinen will see its first regular season action Thursday, Aug. 29 when Duke opens a six-match home stand against the Georgetown Hoyas, who it faced twice last year, including a meeting in the NCAA Round of 16 in Washington, D.C. The Blue Devils will face UNLV (Thursday, Sept. 5) and LSU (Sunday, Sept. 8) the following weekend when it hosts the 2019 Duke Nike Classic. The Blue Devils close out the home stand with a Sunday, Sept. 15 matchup against James Madison and a Saturday, Sept. 21 showdown against NC State in their ACC opener.
Following Duke’s extended stay at Koskinen, it will hit the road for three-straight ACC road matches, taking on Wake Forest (Thursday, Sept. 26), Virginia (Sunday, Sept. 29) and Virginia Tech (Saturday, Oct. 5).
Church and his team will return home Thursday, Oct. 10 for their first ACC matchup against North Carolina since 2015. The last time these two sides met in league play, the Blue Devils used a late goal from former All-American Imani Dorsey to capture a 1-0 victory in Chapel Hill. Duke will then close the weekend on Sunday, Oct. 13 in a home contest against Clemson.
The Blue Devils return to the road for a quick trip to Louisville on Friday, Oct. 18 before returning back home to face Notre Dame (Thursday, Oct. 24) and Syracuse (Sunday, Oct. 27) to wrap up regular season home action.
Duke’s 2019 regular season will wrap up on the road, as the Blue Devils head to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the reigning national champions in Florida State on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Church’s squad will look to carry over the momentum from a successful 2018 campaign that saw the Blue Devils rack up 16 victories, the fifth most in program history, en route to its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth-straight Round of 16 showing. Duke put together eight wins in ACC play to earn a second-place finish in the conference, finishing in the top three in the league for the third-straight season. The 25 ACC wins over that span mark the best three-year stretch in ACC play in DWS history.
Breaking It Down…
Overall: 17 games
ACC: 10 games
Home: 10 games
Away: 5 games
Neutral: 2 games
Exhibition: 2 games
2018 NCAA Tournament Participants On The Slate…
The Blue Devils will face 11 opponents who took part in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including reigning national champion Florida State and two showdowns against rival and national finalist North Carolina. Duke’s schedule features three of the four 2018 College Cup participants as well, with Georgetown making its first trip to Durham. Rounding out the list is Virginia (Round of 16), Wake Forest (Round of 16), NC State (Round of 16), Virginia Tech (Round of 16), Santa Clara (Second Round), LSU (Second Round), Clemson (First Round) and Louisville (First Round).
The 2019 DWS schedule features only one first time opponent this season, the LaSalle Explorers, who the Blue Devils open their regular season against on Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. ET in Chapel Hill. On the flip side, Duke will face eight opponents this season that they have played against 10-plus times in history. Topping that list is rival North Carolina, who the Blue Devils will face for the 45th and 46th times this season (Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET & Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. ET).
Tobacco Road Rivalry Rolls Back On The Schedule…
For the first time since the 2017 season, Duke and North Carolina will face off on the field, as the two sides battle twice in 2019. The second of those two meetings will be in ACC action, the first conference meeting between the two since 2016, when the Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels, 1-0, in Chapel Hill.
The ACC slate will open at home for the Blue Devils in 2019, as they will host the NC State Wolfpack on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium. Duke’s ACC road opener will be five days later, as it travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.
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”.