The Duke Blue Devils are the 62nd team in our 2017 schedule preview. The Blue Devils finished 11-8 overall, and 2-2 in ACC play. Duke lost to Syracuse in the ACC Championship for the second straight year, and fell to Loyola in the NCAA First Round. Let’s dive into their schedule.
The Blue Devils open up the season with a three-game homestand, as they start with defending SoCon champion Air Force on February 5. This is the earliest start in program history, as the season starts two days earlier than it did in 2015. Oh, and the Blue Devils lost to Air Force in overtime last season. Duke then hosts High Point on February 10, before welcoming Dylan Sheridan and newcomer Cleveland State on the 12th. Duke then travels out west to Denver to take on the Pioneers on the 18th. This will be the seventh straight year the two teams will meet. The month concludes with Duke hosting St. Joe’s on February 25. It’ll be Hawks head coach Taylor Wray’s first time back to Koskinen Stadium since his playing days at the school.
The Blue Devils open up March in Richmond to take on the Spiders on March 5. Last year in Durham, Richmond upset Duke, 12-10. The Duke-Loyola series returns to Durham on March 11. It’ll be the 17th straight season the two teams will meet, with the two teams splitting last year’s meetings. Two days later, the team hosts Jacksonville and former assistant John Galloway, who’s now the head coach of the Dolphins. Duke begins a three-game road trip on March 18 against Georgetown, before opening up ACC play on the 25th in Syracuse against the defending ACC champion Orange, which will be televised on ESPNU. The teams split last year’s meetings, with Duke winning at home in overtime in the regular season.
The road trip concludes on April 2 in Chapel Hill against defending National Champion North Carolina, which will also be televised on ESPNU. The Tar Heels have taken the last two meetings against the Blue Devils. Duke returns home on April 8 to take on Notre Dame, which will air on ESPNU, before they close out their ACC regular season schedule against Virginia on April 15. The Blue Devils travel to Milwaukee to face off against defending Big East champion Marquette on April 22. Depending on where they’ll finish in the conference standings, Duke will either play in the ACC Tournament beginning on April 28 at home in Durham, or they will play Penn on the 29th in the ACC showcase game as the fifth place team from the conference. The regular season concludes on May 7 against Boston University in Bethpage, New York.
Duke loses more of their core from their championship teams from a few years ago. Gone at attack are seniors Chad Cohan and Case Matheis, who recorded over 20 goals and 40 points last year. They return leading point-getter in junior Justin Guterding, along with C.J. Carpenter. The team brings in talented freshmen Reilly Walsh and Joey Manown as well. At midfield, they lose Deemer Class and Myles Jones, which are huge losses. They return Jack Bruckner, along with Brad Smith, Matthew Giampetroni, and Tripp Transou, who played roles on the second midfield and will need to step up their game in 2017. Jake Seau and David Gill should be back after missing the majority of last season due to injuries. The team also brings in former Villanova Wildcat Sean Cerrone, along with freshmen Terry Lindsay, Brian Smyth, and Kevin Quigley.
On defense, Jamie Ikeda and Rowland Pettit depart, but the team still has Greg Pelton, Brian Dunne, and Ian Yanulis. Look for talented young guys such as Connor Alexander and Cade Van Raaphorst to get some more playing time, as well as freshman J.T. Giles-Harris. All three LSMs return as well, led by Ethan Powley and Peter Welch. Thomas Zenker is one of the best short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation and joins John Prendergast and Garrett Van de Ven for another year. Danny Fowler returns in goal for his senior year, and so does FOGO Kyle Rowe.
Duke’s offense has taken a substantial hit in four of their top six scorers leaving. Their second midfield last year didn’t produce a whole lot of offense, with the exception of maybe Brad Smith. The defense remains the same, but there also needs some improvement in that department, while Rowe can continue his dominance at the face-off X. There are plenty of role players from last year that have to take big strides and have breakout years in 2017, and that will play a big role in how Duke performs in 2017. And John Danowski better not have his team off to a slow start again.
To see every team’s schedule and which one’s we’ve highlighted, check our our master schedule list.