WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The potency of Duke’s offense was on display again Sunday, as the third-ranked Blue Devils used a high-scoring second quarter to defeat 25th-ranked William & Mary, 4-0.
Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad notched its first road victory and first shutout of the season, wrapping up the opening weekend of the 2019 campaign with a 2-0 ledger.
“The first game you get under your belt, you break the ice a little bit,” Bustin said. “We were really excited to get back on the field and continue to play the game that we had played on Friday, but with some time to evaluate things. We’ve had some time to look at things and evaluate and bring that to today’s game.”
Following a scoreless opening quarter that saw neither side surrender a shot, the Blue Devils broke through in an action-packed second frame. The squad outshot William & Mary, 8-3, in the quarter, and received tallies from three different players.
Sophomore Noor van de Laar found junior Lily Posternak for the game’s first goal in the 17th minute before sophomore Leah Crouse scored for the second time in as many contests on the young 2019 season to extend Duke’s lead. Posternak sent a ball from the post into the middle of the circle for Crouse, who capped Friday’s season-opening victory with a rocket of a backhand shot.
Duke continued to attack the cage coming out of halftime, recording six more shots in the third quarter.
In the final quarter, Schleicher successfully converted on a penalty stroke opportunity to secure the first multiple-goal game of her career.
Anchored by redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammi Steele’s two-save effort, the Blue Devil defense collected its first shutout of the season. Entering the second week of the season, the unit has played 115 minutes without surrendering a goal after allowing just one tally in the opening five minutes Friday night against Penn State.
“The defensive effort has definitely started from our front line,” Bustin said. “They put a high work rate in, in the front part of our defense and our pressing lines. We’ve been able to be more aggressive in the midfield and in the backfield to step up, make interceptions, keep the ball away from our 25 or from the circle. It’s been great – I hope we can continue that.”
Duke also rounded out the afternoon with a 17-5 advantage in shots and seven penalty corner opportunities. Defensively, the Blue Devils did not give up a corner to the Tribe.
Bustin’s squad continues a road swing next weekend, traveling to Evanston, Ill., for the annual B1G/ACC Cup. Duke will face Big Ten opponents Northwestern and Maryland over the course of the weekend, beginning with a 4:30 p.m. ET contest against the Wildcats Friday.
“It’s a nice benefit that we’ve had a split weekend where you get to open up at home with that excitement against a very good team and then have to turn around, get on the road, and have to do the same thing on the road,” Bustin said. “It’s almost like you have two different opening days in a weekend under different circumstances against two good opponents. I think it’s going to pay off. It’s good to have gotten a road game under our belt already and to have performed well during that.”