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Courtesy: David Demarco
Aileen Johnson
Blue Devils Set for NCAA Semifinals
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/22/2013
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Game 23
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 1 Maryland l NCAA Semifinals
Friday, Nov. 22 l 2 p.m.
Norfolk, Va. l L.R. Hill Sports Complex l GameTracker l Twitter

DURHAM, N.C. – Fifth-ranked Duke (16-6, 3-3 ACC) will meet top-ranked Maryland (22-1, 6-0 ACC) for the third time this season Friday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship in Norfolk, Va. The Blue Devils earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Championship and were named one of four regional host sites for first and second round action. The Terrapins also hosted a regional in College Park, Md., as the tournament’s top seed. Duke advanced to the semifinals for the fifth time in program history with a 4-1 quarterfinal win over No. 10 Massachusetts Nov. 17 in Durham.

NCAA Championship Weekend to be Streamed on
Friday’s semifinal match between No. 4 seed Duke and No. 1 seed Maryland will be streamed live on  

Maryland Series History
Friday’s NCAA semifinal contest marks the 44th all-time meeting between Duke and Maryland with the Terrapins holding a 32-8-3 advantage in the series ... The two ACC squads have squared off twice this season with Maryland claiming a 5-1 victory in the regular season meeting and just edging the Blue Devils 3-2 in overtime in the semifinals of the ACC Championship ... Duke is 1-2 in program history when facing the Terrapins in the NCAA Championship.

Last Time We Met
Facing a 2-0 deficit at halftime, the Blue Devils rallied to tie the score with 3:17 remaining but went on to fall 3-2 in overtime to top-ranked Maryland Nov. 8 in the ACC Championship semifinals in Newton, Mass. ... Duke cut the Terrapins’ lead in half with 16:05 remaining on a shot from the post by junior Abby Beltrani ... Sophomore Hannah Barreca knocked in the equalizer on a penalty corner hit with just over three minutes to go ... Maryland’s Maxine Fluharty tallied the game winner less than four minutes into the extra time.

Scouting the Terrapins
Top-ranked and top-seeded Maryland (22-1) topped No. 8 Princeton 3-2 in the NCAA second round to reach Friday’s semifinals ... The Terrapins received automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship after claiming the ACC title ... The squad leads the nation in goals per game (4.30), points per game (11.78), scoring average (4.27) and scoring margin (3.11) ... Senior forward Jill Witmer is fifth in the country and second in the ACC in points per game (2.30) and also ranks top-10 nationally  and second in the ACC in goals per game (0.95) ... Anna Dessoye is tied for fifth nationally and ranks second in the league in assists per game (0.70) ... Natalie Hunter leads all ACC goalkeepers with a 1.08 goals against average.

Scouting the Blue Devils
Fifth-ranked and fourth-seeded Duke (16-6, 3-3 ACC) advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 2006 with wins over No. 16 New Hampshire and No. 10 Massachusetts in the first and second rounds in Durham ... The Blue Devils outscored their opponents 10-2 in the two regional contests ... Senior Emmie Le Marchand paces the squad in points (45), goals (16) and assists (13) ... A senior from Worcester, England, Le Marchand ranks 15th nationally in points per game and is tied for 25th in goals per game after accounting for four goals and three assists last weekend ... Senior Paula Heimbach, a two-time All-ACC selection, has anchored the Blue Devils’ back line to four shutouts this fall ... In goal, redshirt sophomore Lauren Blazing has had a breakout season, totaling 126 saves in 22 outings ... A product of Durham, N.C., she ranks fifth nationally in save percentage with a .792 clip ... Blazing posted a career-best 22 saves in a 3-2 overtime shootout victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked North Carolina Sept. 27 to earn ACC Player of the Week recognition.

Last Time Out
The Blue Devils claimed a trip to the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 2006, defeating No. 10 Massachusetts 4-1 Nov. 17 at Jack Katz Stadium ... Four different Duke players registered goals, including senior forward Emmie Le Marchand, who also tallied two assists ... For the match, the Minutewomen held an 11-9 advantage in shots and totaled five penalty corners to four by Duke ... Redshirt sophomore Lauren Blazing had four saves for the Blue Devils in the win.

Duke in the NCAA Championship
The Blue Devils own an all-time record of 17-11 in the NCAA Tournament while making three trips to the national championship match (2003, 2004, 2005) ... Duke is 3-1 all-time in semifinal contests and 1-2 all-time in the tournament when facing Maryland ... The Blue Devils last advanced to the national semifinals in 2006, falling to Wake Forest by a 5-4 score in Winston-Salem ... Head coach Pam Bustin will be making her first career appearance in the national semifinals.

Five Blue Devils Tabbed All-Region
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing, senior defender Paula Heimbach and senior forward Emmie Le Marchand were selected to the 2013 NFHCA All-South Region first team ... Sophomore midfielder Aileen Johnson and sophomore defender Amanda Kim were honored on the second team ... Le Marchand garnered the fourth all-region nod of her career.

Blazing Among Nation’s Top Goalkeepers
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper and Durham, N.C., product Lauren Blazing tops the ACC and is fith among all Division I goalkeepers in save percentage with an .792 clip through 22 games … She has compiled a 1.43 goals against average in addition to guiding the defense to four shutouts … The Durham, N.C., native was named the ACC Player of the Week and the Ronald McDonald House Charities Duke Student-Athlete of the Week following a career-high 22-save performance in a 3-2 shootout win over previously top-ranked and unbeaten North Carolina Sept. 27.

Balanced Scoring by Blue Devil Offense
Fourteen different Duke players have tallied a point through 22 games this fall … Thirteen different Blue Devils have registered a goal, led by senior Emmie Le Marchand with 16 … Le Marchand paces the squad and ranks third in the ACC with 45 points … Junior midfielder Abby Beltrani has totaled a career-best 10 assists to rank 10th in the ACC in assists per game along while Le Marchand is fifth at 0.59 assists per game … Five different players scored in Duke’s 6-0 win over Radford Sept. 22 and four different players tallied a goal in the squad’s 4-1 NCAA quarterfinal victory against No. 10 Massachusetts Nov. 17.

Heimbach Anchors Back Line
Senior defender Paula Heimbach continues to be one of the Blue Devils’ most dependable backs in 2013 … An All-ACC honoree and Longstreth/NFHCA third team All-America selection last fall, Heimbach once again garnered all-conference and first team All-South Region recognition this year … She tallied the Blue Devils’ first defensive save of the year against Syracuse Oct. 11 … Heimbach and the Duke defense own four shutouts on the year and currently allow just 1.44 goals per game.

Le Marchand Moving Up Career Charts
After topping the 100-point mark for her career earlier this season, senior forward Emmie Le Marchand continues to etch her name into the program record books … With 136 points for her career, the Worcester, England product currently sits sixth overall in school history … Le Marchand also ranks seventh all-time in career goals (54) and is tied for ninth in career assists (28) … Her 45 points this season match her career-best output, which ranks 11th all-time on Duke’s single season list.