WILMINGTON, NC August 15, 2014 – The UNCW women’s soccer team plays its final tune-up of the 2014 preseason Saturday (Aug. 16) when another Atlantic Coast Conference foe, this time No. 18 Duke, visits the UNCW Soccer Stadium for a 6 p.m. clash.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $2 for 15-under. UNCW students, faculty and staff are admitted free. For tickets to all of UNCW’s home women’s soccer contests, visit UNCWsports.com or contact the UNCW Athletic Ticket Office at (910) 962-3233.
Coach Paul Cairney’s team played the first of two exhibition games this past Tuesday and fell to No. 4 North Carolina, 1-0, in a close match at home. The 20-year veteran coach is expecting another tough battle in the Blue Devils and 14th-year Coach Robbie Church.
“After watching video of our game, we realized that we had the ball for longer periods than we thought,” Cairney said of the loss to the Tar Heels. “We just didn’t do a good enough job when we got into the attacking third of making good decisions. We defended very, very well and made it difficult for them.”
In Tuesday’s narrow loss, the Seahawks played solid defensively, keeping one of the nation’s most vaunted offenses in check. Cairney expects another big challenge from the Blue Devils, who return seven starters and 21 letterwinners off a squad that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Elite Eight for the fifth time out of the last seven years in 2013.
“Coach Church does a fantastic job with his team,” Cairney added. “We know it will be a tough match. They’re very talented this year and it should be a challenging test for our team.”
The Blue Devils opened their exhibition slate Thursday night and blanked 14th-rated South Carolina, 2-0, in Durham. Duke opened the match with four freshmen – Ashton Miller, Morgan Reid, Imani Dorsey and Schuyler DeBree – and a total of seven freshmen and sophomores.
Duke senior Katy Colas and rookie Casey Martinez provided the scoring against USC All-American goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo. The Gamecocks outshot the Blue Devils by a 6-3 margin.
Cairney and his staff spent a lot of time dissecting Tuesday’s match with UNC and hope to learn more about the Seahawks this weekend.
“We took a lot from the game the other night and we used a lot of those things in training this week,” said Cairney. “Defensively is where you can build during the preseason because you can control that environment. You make it difficult for teams to score. And you add some pieces to the attack as the season progresses.”
The Seahawks kick off the regular season on Friday, Aug. 22, with a 7 p.m. contest at N.C. State. The Blue Devils meet Ohio State the same day in the UNC Nike Classic in Chapel Hill.