The Duke women’s soccer team opens the 2013 season on Friday with a road clash at Texas A&M. It is the second straight year that they open on the road against a ranked opponent. The game is at 8:30pm at Ellis Field and will be streamed live on GoDuke.com. It will be the sixth time the two teams have met, but just the second time in College Station (that was in the 2003 NCAA Tournament). Duke won the last matchup in 2011 (the Duke Nike Classic), 7-2.
Last season, the Aggies were 19-5-1 and advanced to the Sweet 16, where they lost to Florida State. They return seven starters and 14 letter winners. Their leading returning scorer is Annie Kunz (13 goals, one assist). They also return their goal keeper Jordan Day (14 shutouts).
The Blue Devils then travel to South Carolina for a Sunday matchup at 7pm ET. It will be the fourth time the two teams have met, but the first time in Columbia. Duke leads the series 2-0-1.
Last season, the Gamecocks went just 7-10-4, but return nine starters and 20 letter winners. They return leading scorer Danielle Au (four goals, three assists) and their starting goalie, Sabrina D’Angelo.
The Blue Devils are ranked seventh in the preseason polls. They also had the 10th best recruiting class. Last season, they went 15-6-2 and return 95.4% of their scoring (62 of 65 goals scored). They will not play at home until the Nike Classic on September 6th against West Virginia.