DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey program and head coach Pam Bustin announced Monday the squad’s 2018 schedule. The slate features 10 opponents who were selected to the 2017 NCAA Tournament field, including two of last year’s national semifinalists.
The schedule is highlighted by seven contests at home in Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The regular season home slate includes ACC matchups against North Carolina, Virginia and Boston College, as well as a Sept. 16 tilt against Saint Joseph’s, which will visit Durham for the first time. The Blue Devils’ 11 road games feature a trip to College Park, Md., for the B1G/ACC Cup, as well as a 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.”
Duke opens the 2018 campaign in Durham, welcoming William & Mary and Liberty to Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium Aug. 24 and 26.
Labor Day weekend will see Bustin’s squad travel to College Park along with Boston College, Northwestern and host Maryland. The Blue Devils face Northwestern Aug. 31 and the Terrapins Sept. 2. Duke has gone unbeaten at the B1G/ACC Cup in each of the past three seasons, posting a pair of shutouts at last fall’s edition of the tournament in Lancaster, Pa.
The Blue Devils head north again the following weekend, playing at Princeton Sept. 7 before traveling over to Temple University in Philadelphia for a neutral site contest against Penn State. The meeting with the Nittany Lions will mark the first since 2011.
Duke kicks off ACC action Sept. 14 at Syracuse before returning to Durham for a three-game home stand. Saint Joseph’s visits Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium for the first time Sept. 16, with the last meeting in the series coming in 2009. The Blue Devils then host North Carolina Sept. 21 and James Madison Sept. 23.
The end of September features trips to a pair of in-state opponents, as Duke heads to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest Sept. 28 and to Boone to face Appalachian State Sept. 30. Virginia pays a visit to Durham Oct. 5 before the Blue Devils hit the road for contests at Old Dominion Oct. 7 and Louisville Oct. 12.
Duke will honor the program’s senior class Oct. 19 in the regular season home finale against Boston College. The remainder of the month will see the squad play at North Carolina Oct. 21 and at Ohio University Oct. 26. The Blue Devils will go up against the Bobcats for the first time since 2009 before returning to Chapel Hill the first week of November for the 2018 ACC Championship.
“The ACC is going to be extremely strong again this year,” Bustin said. “But to then add Penn State to our schedule – we haven’t faced them in a while. Saint Joseph’s had a great season last year. Princeton, of course, is a great out of conference rival for us. Overall, the schedule looks very strong and we’re excited about it.”
Under the direction of Bustin and her coaching staff, Duke will return 14 letterwinners and six starters from the 2017 campaign, which saw the team compile a 17-4 ledger and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season.
|Friday, Aug. 24||William & Mary||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Sunday, Aug. 26||Liberty||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||1 p.m.|
|Friday, Aug. 31||Northwestern||College Park, Md.||Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex||4 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 2||Maryland||College Park, Md.||Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex||2 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 7||Princeton||Princeton, N.J.||Bedford Field||4 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 9||Penn State||Philadelphia, Pa.||Temple Sports Complex||10:30 a.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 14||Syracuse *||Syracuse, N.Y.||J.S. Coyne Stadium||5 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 16||Saint Joseph's||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||12 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 21||North Carolina *||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 23||James Madison||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||1 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 28||Wake Forest *||Winston-Salem, N.C.||Kentner Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Sunday, Sept. 30||Appalachian State||Boone, N.C.||Brandon & Erica M. Adcock Field||1 p.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 5||Virginia *||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 7||Old Dominion||Norfolk, Va.||L.R. Hill Sports Complex||1 p.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 12||Louisville *||Louisville, Ky.||Trager Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 19||Boston College *||Durham, N.C.||Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 21||North Carolina||Chapel Hill, N.C.||Field Hockey Stadium||1 p.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 26||Ohio University||Athens, Ohio||Pruitt Field||3 p.m.|
|Thurs-Sun, Nov. 1-4||ACC Championship||Chapel Hill, N.C.||Field Hockey Stadium||TBA|