DURHAM, N.C. – Second-ranked Duke earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship and will host first and second round tournament action this weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils were selected as one of four regional host sites for the second consecutive season.
Duke (16-3) will host the winner of a play-in game between Stanford (13-7) and Miami (11-8), which is slated for Wednesday in Stanford, Calif. The Blue Devils’ first round contest will take place Saturday at 11:30 a.m., followed by a 2 p.m. first round meeting between Maryland (13-6) and Wake Forest (12-7) in Durham. The winners of the two first round contests will square off Sunday at 2 p.m. to compete for a spot in the NCAA semifinals. Louisville will host the 2017 national semifinals and championship game Friday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 19 at Trager Stadium.
“From a year ago to where to where we are today, this team has been extremely focused in bringing Duke back to this position – back to an opportunity to keep playing and to play here at home,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “I’m just really proud of the way they approached the entire season, the offseason and how they handled themselves, especially after the ACC Tournament loss.”
The last meeting between Duke and Stanford came in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, a 1-0 victory for the Blue Devils in overtime. The program is 5-1 historically against the Cardinal, which claimed the America East title Sunday, and 2-0 when facing Stanford in NCAA Tournament action. Duke is 3-0 all-time against Miami after defeating the RedHawks by a 2-0 margin Oct. 15 in Durham. Miami secured its spot in the NCAA Tournament by capturing the MAC Tournament title.
The Blue Devils earned the program’s fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and six out of the past seven years after reaching the quarterfinal round last fall. Duke is 22-15 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and has been selected to the postseason event 16 times with six national semifinal appearances – including two under the guidance of Bustin. The Blue Devils have also made four trips to the championship match (2003, 2004, 2005, 2013). The squad will be hosting opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history after also doing so in 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2016.
“For the seniors, coming in as such a strong and connected group, and the leadership they’ve continued to build within their class and within this program – to be able to bring that to our own turf in front of our fans is an awesome opportunity,” Bustin said. “What an honor for them that they’ve earned. I’m so happy that they get to play here at home, be in our locker room and take care of business here.”
Other teams selected to host first and second rounds include No. 1 UConn and No. 3 seed Michigan. North Carolina received the No. 4 overall seed but will travel to Charlottesville, Va., for regional play. Six of the seven ACC teams received bids to the tournament, with the Tar Heels and Virginia competing in Charlottesville, Syracuse and Louisville heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., and Wake Forest traveling to Durham.
Duke advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament after posting a 4-2 record in league regular season play. Senior back Alyssa Chillano and sophomore midfielder Margaux Paolino were both first team All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament Team picks, while senior midfielder Alexa Mackintire, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sammi Steele and junior forward Rose Tynan were all named to the All-ACC second team.