Three days after the start of preseason practice, Duke field hockey had its first exhibition on Sunday, hosting Davidson.
“We were able to put a lot of the practice exercises we’ve had within ourselves out against another opponent, full-field, with the excitement and the structure of a real game,” coach Pam Bustin said. “So that’s priceless.”
The teams scrimmaged in three periods of 20-minute intervals in addition to a 10-minute overtime period and three rounds of shootouts at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.
The Blue Devils had six penalty corners and eight shots in the first 20 minutes. Overall, Duke was 10-2 on penalty corners against the Wildcats and outshot Davidson 28-5.
“We were able to see some things, players at different positions,” Bustin said. “We’re still trying to find out where our strengths are and what formation that would be. I thought today, with the three 20-minute periods, we were able to shift up our structure and our formations to get a glimpse of that.”
The Duke defense, anchored by goalkeepers Lauren Blazing and Kelsey Wagner, held Davidson without a shot until the second period. Both goalkeepers each had one save, while the Wildcats’ Emily Leytham and Connie Cape combined for nine stops.
Among the Blue Devils’ goalscorers were: Abby Beltrani, Hannah Barreca, Aileen Johnson, Sarah Urdahl, Hunter Bracale, Heather Morris and Ashley Kristen.
The squad also excelled in the shootouts at the end of the contest, with Blazing going unscored upon in two rounds.
“Definitely some things for us to work on individually,” Bustin said. “Some things for us to work on as a team, but overall I’m really pleased with how we approached today and what we got out of it.”
Duke’s next exhibition is Sunday at 1 p.m. hosting North Carolina at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils open the regular season Friday, Aug. 29 at Michigan State.