A year after reaching the NCAA semifinals for the sixth time in program history, the Duke field hockey program will play 10 of its 17 contests this fall against teams selected to the 2015 NCAA Tournament field. The Blue Devils’ 2016 slate, released Monday by head coach Pam Bustin, features two of last year’s NCAA semifinalists and 13 opponents who concluded the 2015 season ranked among the top 20 teams in the country.
Duke will host nine games at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium during the 2016 campaign, including tilts against ACC opponents Boston College, North Carolina and Virginia. The squad’s eight road contests are highlighted by a return to Spooky Nook Sports, the official training ground of the U.S. women’s national team, for the B1G/ACC Cup, as well as an inaugural trip to Miami (Ohio) and visits to Old Dominion and Princeton.
“Once again, we have secured matches with some of the toughest opponents in the NCAA,” Bustin said. “Not only will the ACC schedule provide the traditional high level of competition, but we can also expect great challenges from our out-of-conference games as well. It is important to develop the consistent strong mindset and level of preparation throughout the regular season necessary to succeed in postseason play. We look forward to playing more than half of our regular season games on Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium!”
Bustin’s team will begin the season with home scrimmages against Davidson Aug. 14 and North Carolina Aug. 20. The Blue Devils officially kick off the fall a week later, welcoming William and Mary to Durham in the Aug. 26 opener before hosting Liberty Aug. 28. The Flames concluded the 2015 season with a 12-6 record and were ranked 14th in the final National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll.
September will see Duke head north to Lancaster, Pa., for the second edition of the B1G/ACC Cup. The Blue Devils will face Maryland Sept. 2 and Northwestern Sept. 4 at the Nook after defeating both squads last year in a pair of thrilling matchups. Duke will then return home to Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium for the ACC opener against Virginia Sept. 9 before welcoming James Madison Sept. 11.
The Blue Devils’ next road trip includes stops at Louisville Sept. 16 and Miami Sept. 18. Duke last faced the Redhawks in 1990, earning a 1-0 victory in Durham. The squad will then close the month with a three-game home stand, beginning with a Sept. 23 contest against Albany. Both NCAA Tournament selections a year ago, Boston College and Boston University visit Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, respectively.
October will feature a trip to Syracuse, N.Y., to face the Orange Oct. 7, as well as a road contest at Princeton Oct. 9. The last meeting between the teams, a 2014 matchup in Durham, saw the Blue Devils shut out the seventh-ranked Tigers, 1-0. Additional ACC action includes a road game at Wake Forest Oct. 14, followed by a non-conference contest at Old Dominion Oct. 16, and an Oct. 22 tilt at home against North Carolina. The regular season finale pits Duke against Richmond in Durham Oct. 29.
The team will begin the postseason by returning to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the 2016 ACC Championship.
Following a 2015 season that saw the Blue Devils compile a 14-7 ledger en route to reaching the NCAA semifinals, Duke will be in pursuit of the program’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in six years under the direction of Bustin and her staff. The team will return 18 letterwinners and seven starters in 2016, including three NFHCA All-South region selections in defender Alyssa Chillano and forwards Ashley Kristen and Heather Morris.
2016 Duke Field Hockey Schedule
|Aug. 14 Sun.||Davidson (scrimmage)||11 am|
|Aug. 20 Sat.||UNC (scrimmage)||12 noon|
|Aug. 26 Fri.||W & M||6 pm|
|Aug. 28 Sun.||Liberty||1pm|
|Sept. 2 Fri.||Maryland @ Nook||7 pm|
|Sept. 4 Sun.||Northwestern @ Nook||11 am|
|Sept. 9 Fri.||Virginia||6pm|
|Sept. 11 Sun.||James Madison||1pm|
|Sept. 16 Fri.||@ Louisville||6 pm|
|Sept. 18 Sun.||@ Miami-OH||1 pm|
|Sept. 23 Fri.||Albany||6 pm|
|Sept. 30 Fri.||Boston College||6 pm|
|Oct. 2 Sun.||Boston University||1 pm|
|Oct.7 Fri.||@Syracuse||5 pm|
|Oct. 9 Sun.||@ Princeton||1 pm|
|Oct. 14 Fri.||@ Wake Forest||6 pm|
|Oct. 16 Sun.||@ Old Dominion||1pm|
|Oct. 22 Sat.||UNC||1 pm|
|Oct. 29 Sat.||Richmond||1 pm|
Nov. 3 – 6 W-Sun ACC Tournament @ Wake Forest
Nov. 12-13 NCAA Regionals TBD
Nov. 18-20 NCAA National Championship @ ODU