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awhom111
08-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Looking Back:
Duke had another solid season as they started the season out of the top ten, but fought their way in and stayed there for the rest of the season. The ACC was as tough as ever and they finished right in the middle. Hosting the ACC tournament at the somewhat remodeled Williams Field was meant to be a highlight of the season, but a loss to Virginia in the first game meant a quarterfinal exit. The team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where it lost to top-ranked Maryland in a rematch of a fantastic conference game at College Park that the Blue Devils had won. The team only loses three players, but they were all very important to the team both in their play and in their influence. Ashley Pultorak was a valuable forward who chipped in with a number of good goals over her career. The team also loses the two critical cogs in the midfield in Marian Dickinson and Laura Suchoski. Dickinson brought the attacking impetus to the midfield and led the team in goals last season. Suchoski brought the hard work to the defensive half of the midfield while also being a key outlet in getting the ball to the attack. The duo brought a wealth of experience and leadership to the team and that part of their contribution will be more difficult to replace than just technical ability. The defense is left completely intact and most of the forward line is still there.

Key Returns and Additions:
Starting at the back, both goalies from last year, Samantha Nelson and Ali Comolli, are back, joined by freshman U-21 South African international Micaela Paterson. The defense is experienced after playing together last year as Lauren Miller, last seasonís assists leader, partners Brooke Patterson, and Stefanie Fee. Freshmen Abby Hassinger and Molly Johnson will also look for time there. The three returning midfield starters are all talented sophomores. US U-21 Rhian Jones is more defensive-minded, but she does pop up with the occasional goal. Tara Jennings brought a tremendous amount of hard work and strength to the midfield and offered some creativity in getting the ball to the front. Megan Deakins added the additional attacking threat from the midfield with an incredible scoring record of getting a goal on every three shots and only getting her shot saved five times. Sarah Schoffstall also returns to provide added creativity while a number of freshmen will get the chance to contribute. Chelsea Amsley and Canadian U-21 Mary Nielsen will look to contribute goals from the midfield or attack while Devon Gagliardi will also contribute in the midfield area. The starting strikers and second and third leading scorers from last season, Amie Survilla and Susan Ferger return up top to lead the line. Freshman Maartje van Rijswijk also comes in as an out-and-out forward in addition to the midfield goal-scoring options. The team returns a lot of players in critical areas while adding a number of freshmen.

Outlook:
This team will have to replace several very important players in order to get back to where it wants to go, but the number of players returning means that a lot of talent and experience is still there. Having a settled defense will hopefully reduce some of the untimely mistakes that have struck the team at the most untimely moments. The available power up front will ensure that a good supply of goals can continue to be expected. The key is finding the right mix of new midfielders joining the returning trio. This team should have a very good season. The ACC is dominant in the sport, but that gauntlet should give the team good preparation for the NCAAs.

awhom111
08-22-2009, 09:54 PM
The Field Hockey team won a preseason scrimmage 4-0 over James Madison. According to the box score there were 4 different goalscorers. It may not have been the complete starting lineup, but a couple different freshmen got a good amount of action. Freshman Micaela Paterson got the first half in goal before giving way to last year's starter Samantha Nelson. A solid start for an exhibition.

awhom111
08-29-2009, 05:17 PM
The team opened up at home against 13th ranked Louisville and came up with a nice 3-0 win. That is a very good start as the team was solid on defense while scoring enough goals to get the job done. The boxscore is not up yet, so I do not have many details to analyze.