DURHAM, N.C. – For the fourth time in the last six years, the Duke field hockey team will host first and second round action of the NCAA Championship at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium after receiving the No. 4 seed Sunday night.
The Blue Devils (15-5) were selected one of four regional host sites for the third consecutive season and will open tournament play Friday at 12 p.m. against the winner of an opening round game between Boston University (12-7) and Miami (15-6) slated for Wednesday. Iowa (14-6) and Wake Forest (11-9) also square off Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Durham, with the winners of the two first round contests meeting Sunday at 1 p.m. to compete for a spot in the NCAA semifinals. Louisville will host the 2018 national semifinals and championship game Friday Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 18 at Trager Stadium.
“I’m extremely proud of this team, for where we came from in January to be where we are now and the work that they’ve put in and the consistency that they’ve showed throughout the season to put us in this position to host here at home,” said head coach Pam Bustin. “To start the next phase of the season is just really exciting. I’m really proud of them.”
Duke faced Miami in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Championship in Durham, recording a 4-2 victory. The Blue Devils have never matched up with Boston University in the postseason event, but own a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Terriers. Duke is 1-4 historically when playing Wake Forest in NCAA Championship action and has never faced Iowa in the tournament, but owns a ledger of 5-2 in previous contests between the schools.
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad won eight of its final nine contests in the regular season before reaching the semifinals of the ACC Championship. Senior forward Caroline Andretta and junior midfielder Margaux Paolino were ACC All-Tournament Team picks, while Paolino joined senior forward Rose Tynan on the All-ACC First Team. Senior forward Erin Scherrer, redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele and junior back Jillian Wolgemuth represented the Blue Devils on the All-ACC Second Team.
The Blue Devils have been ranked among the top four teams in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll all season and have also landed top-four throughout the fall in FieldHockeyCorner.com’s Strength of Schedule ratings.
This season, Duke went 5-5 against teams selected to the NCAA Championship field, topping Penn State, Saint Joseph’s, Virginia and William & Mary, splitting a pair of contests with Wake Forest and falling to Maryland and Princeton and North Carolina twice.
The Blue Devils are making the 17th NCAA Championship appearance in program history. Duke is 23-16 all-time in the postseason event 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 sixth time in school history after also doing so in 2003, 2006, 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Other teams selected to host first and second rounds include No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 seed Maryland and No. 3 seed Princeton. Four of the seven ACC teams received bids to the tournament, with the Tar Heels hosting in Chapel Hill, Wake Forest traveling to Durham and Virginia heading to Princeton, N.J.
NCAA First and Second Rounds – Durham, N.C.
Friday, Nov. 9
Game 1 – Duke vs. Boston University/Miami 12 p.m.
Game 2 – Iowa vs. Wake Forest, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11
Quarterfinal Game – 1 p.m.