DURHAM, N.C. – Duke lifts the lid on the 2019 season with a top-10 matchup at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium and on ACCNX. The Blue Devils, listed third in the preseason edition of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, welcome No. 9 Penn State Friday night at 6 p.m. Both teams are coming off of trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, with Duke reaching the quarterfinal round and the Nittany Lions the first round.
The Blue Devils are 34-12-2 historically in season openers and 15-2-1 when kicking off the fall on their home turf.
Sunday will take head coach Pam Bustin’s squad to Williamsburg, Va., where they face No. 25 William & Mary in their first road contest of the season.
No. 3 Duke vs. No. 9 Penn State
Friday, 6 p.m. l Durham, N.C. – Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium
ACCNX l Live Stats
The Blue Devils and the Nittany Lions meet for the second straight year and ninth time in program history in Friday night’s season opener. Penn State holds a 6-2 advantage in the series but last fall’s meeting saw Rose Tynan, a 2018 graduate of Duke, fire a pair of goals to lead the Blue Devils to a convincing 4-1 victory last September on a neutral turf in Philadelphia. Duke’s defense shined in the top-five battle, holding Penn State to a single tally inside the first 20 minutes.
Penn State opens the fall ranked ninth in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll following a 12-6 campaign in 2018. The Nittany Lions were selected for the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in the last 14 years, falling in the first round. Head coach Char Morett-Curtiss returns 13 letter winners from a year ago, including Anna Simon, who notched 28 points (13g, 2a) as a freshman.
Duke is 40-55-4 historically against Big Ten teams. The Blue Devils are also slated to face Iowa, Maryland and Northwestern out of the Big Ten during the regular season.
No. 3 Duke at No. 25 William & Mary
Sunday, 1 p.m. l Williamsburg, Va. – Busch Field
Sunday marks the 37th all-time meeting between the squads with the Blue Devils leading the series, 27-8-1. Duke opened the 2018 campaign with a 4-0 shutout victory over William & Mary last August at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils made a strong statement with a solid defensive performance and received early contributions from a pair of freshmen on the offensive end. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad featured four different goal scorers on the night, with Kiki Rozemeijer and Leah Crouse both notching their first tallies in a Blue Devil uniform. Goalkeeper Sammi Steele anchored a defensive unit that held the Tribe to just three shots – and only one on cage – in the top-20 matchup.
William & Mary was ranked 25th nationally to start the 2019 season and was picked as the preseason favorite to win the CAA after claiming the conference title in 2018. Head coach Tess Ellis and the Tribe return 16 players from a season ago, including CAA Preseason Player of the Year Christie van de Kamp on defense. Joining van de Kamp on the preseason all-conference team were Cassidy Goodwin, Woodard Hooper and Annie Snead.
Duke assistant coach Wesley Ann Boersma was a two-time team captain for the Tribe during her collegiate career, earning All-South Region honors as a senior in 2009.
Duke is 65-26-2 all-time against teams from the CAA and will also face CAA member James Madison during the regular season.
The season opener marks Beach Night at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium, with free Lindy's Italian Ices available for the first 100 Duke students. The Duke Marketing staff will host a Beach Party inside the stadium, with inflatable pools, beach balls and games set up on the left side of the stands.
Follow Duke Marketing on Twitter for more on the latest giveaways and promotions.
Tipping Off in Nation’s Top Three
Duke kicks off the 2019 campaign ranked among the top three teams in the country, as the Blue Devils came in at No. 3 in the preseason edition of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll Tuesday. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad also rounded out the 2018 campaign ranked third following the program’s sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA quarterfinals.
Reigning national champion North Carolina came in atop the rankings with 31 first-place votes, followed by Maryland and Duke, which received two first-place votes. Connecticut and Princeton rounded out the national top five.
Tuesday’s release marked the sixth straight year the Blue Devils have been tabbed a top-five team in the NFHCA’s preseason rankings.
A Look Back at 2018
The Blue Devils made the program’s sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA quarterfinal round to wrap up a 16-6 campaign a year ago. Duke was selected to the NCAA field for the 17th time in school history. 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. Duke went 5-1 in regular season conference play and stacked up seven shutouts before adding one more in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. U.S. senior national team member Margaux Paolino was recognized as a first team All-American and senior Rose Tynan was named to the second team after rounding out an impressive collegiate career ranked among the Blue Devils’ all-time scoring leaders.
Senior Trio Tabbed to Preseason All-ACC Team
The Blue Devils boasted a league-best three student-athletes on the Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team, as released last week by the conference office. Senior midfielder Margaux Paolino, redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammi Steele and senior back Jillian Wolgemuth represented the Blue Devils on the 2019 preseason All-ACC squad, while Duke was picked to finish second in the ACC by a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.
Leading the Way
Seniors Margaux Paolino and Jillian Wolgemuth were selected to serve as co-captains for Duke this fall. Paolino has started in the midfield in each of the past three seasons and is a two-time All-America selection while Wolgemuth has started each of the past two seasons on Duke’s back line and was a second team All-South Region and All-ACC honoree in 2018.