DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey program, led by head coach Pam Bustin, released its fall 2017 schedule Friday. The Blue Devils will play seven of their 16 regular season contests against teams selected to the 2016 NCAA Tournament field, including two of last year’s semifinalists.
“Our 2017 schedule will once again provide top-notch competition and great challenges as we continue to prepare and train in pursuit of a national title,” Bustin said.
Duke will host eight contests at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium during the fall, with the home slate highlighted by tilts against ACC opponents Louisville, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The squad will also welcome 2016 NCAA semifinalist Princeton to Durham in September. The Blue Devils’ nine road games include a return to the B1G/ACC Cup, held at the home of USA Field Hockey – the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster, Pa.
The Blue Devils begin the 2017 campaign with a pair of scrimmages against Davidson and North Carolina Aug. 12 and 19 in Durham. The squad then makes its official debut on the road the following weekend, traveling to Williamsburg, Va., to face William & Mary Aug. 25. Six different Blue Devils scored in an 8-4 Duke victory over the Tribe in the 2016 season opener.
The first weekend in September will take the Blue Devils back to Lancaster, Pa., where they have captured each of the last two B1G/ACC Cup titles. Last year’s tournament saw Duke edge No. 6 Maryland by a 1-0 score before topping No. 16 Northwestern, 3-2, in overtime behind two goals from Alyssa Chillano.
“The B1G/ACC Cup is a great opportunity to showcase collegiate field hockey at the home of the U.S. women’s senior national team and in a region where many of our players hail from,” Bustin said.
Duke opens ACC play Sept. 8 at Virginia before heading to Harrisonburg, Va., to take on James Madison Sept. 10. Bustin’s squad then returns to Durham for the home opener Sept. 15 against Louisville. The 2016 meeting between the Blue Devils and the Cardinals was a battle of unbeaten top-10 teams, with Duke earning a 2-1 victory in Louisville. Two days later, the Blue Devils welcome 2016 NCAA semifinalist Princeton out of the Ivy League.
The program rounds out its first home stand by hosting Old Dominion Sept. 24. Duke will then head north for contests at Boston College and Boston University Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.
October features a four-game home stretch, with Syracuse and Iowa visiting Jack Katz Stadium Oct. 6 and 8. The Blue Devils and Hawkeyes will clash for the first time since 2008. The home stand continues Oct. 13 and 15 with contests against Wake Forest and Miami.
Duke and Tobacco Road rival North Carolina square off Oct. 20, followed by a trip to Liberty Oct. 22. The program will then conclude the regular season at home with an Oct. 28 contest against Appalachian State. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series with the Mountaineers 28-3-3, but the teams have not met since the 2008 season.
Duke begins the postseason at the 2017 ACC Championship, slated for Nov. 2-5 at Louisville’s Trager Stadium, which will also serve as the site for the NCAA Division I semifinals and finals Nov. 17-19.
Bustin also recently released the Blue Devils’ spring competition schedule, which features four dates at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
Under the direction of Bustin, the 2016 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) South Region and ACC Coach of the Year, the Blue Devils return 16 letterwinners and six starters from last year’s squad. Duke rounded out the 2016 campaign at No. 1 in the final Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll and claimed the program’s first regular season ACC title before reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.