WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - In one of the most anticipated season openers in recent memory, the William and Mary women's soccer team will begin the 2012 season against top-ranked Duke on Friday, Aug.17, at 7 p.m. inside the friendly confines of Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live video streaming and stats.
The Tribe enters the contest receiving votes in the NSCAA preseason coaches' poll, while being ranked 20th in Soccer America's preseason rankings. The Blue Devils, who where national runner-ups a year ago, come to Williamsburg carrying a preseason ranking of No. 2 per the NSCAA poll and the top distinction by Soccer America.
Scouting the Tribe
After winning the College's 10th CAA Championship and earning its 24th NCAA tournament appearance in 2011, the Tribe looks to build on last season's success as it is poised to compete for another league championship and another berth in the NCAA tournament. Last season, the Tribe compiled an impressive record of 17-3-2.
This season, the College returns nine of its 11 starters from 2011, including last season's CAA Player of the Year senior midfielder Mallory Schaffer. In 2011, Schaffer took home league player of the year accolades along with first-team All-America honors, as she led the Tribe and CAA with 17 goals and 40 points.
Senior midfielder Cortlyn Bristol returns after earning First-Team All-CAA and All-Region distinctions last season. Sophomore back Emily Fredrikson looks to build on a fantastic freshman season, in which the Ashburn, Va., native took home All-CAA second-team and rookie-team honors.
In 2011, W&M finished the season unbeaten (16-0-1) after scoring first. The College also posted an undefeated home record of 10-0-1 en route to a 17-win season. The 2012 edition of W&M soccer features nine seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores and nine freshmen. The College brings back its top-six goal scorers from a 2011 squad that accumulated 53 scores.
Scouting the Blue
Under the direction of 12th year head coach Robbie Church, Duke enters the 2012 campaign as the preseason favorites to win the ACC. Last season, the Blue Devils posted a record of 22-4-1 en route to making an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament title match. Earlier this month, Duke was tabbed No. 2 in the preseason NSCAA coaches' poll, which is the highest ranking in school history.
The Blue Devils return all 11 starters from last season's national runner-up squad, which include 2012 preseason All-Americans juniors Natasha Anasi and Kaitlyn Kerr. Last year, Kerr tallied 27 points on 11 goals and five assists. The Blue Devils also return senior goalkeeper Tara Campbell, who owns 27 career shutouts, which is just seven shy of the Duke school record. After opening the season at William and Mary, the Blue Devils will open the home portion of the 2012 schedule hosting Elon on Aug. 19.
All-time, W&M owns a 5-5-1 record against Duke. The last regular season matchup between the Tribe and Blue Devils came during the 2008 NCAA tournament, as Duke squeaked past the College, 1-0. Last season, the Green and Gold played the Blue Devils to a 2-2 tie in an exhibition match in Durham, N.C. Friday night will be Duke's first visit to Williamsburg since a 2-1 victory in 2000.
Before starting the 2012 season, a number of W&M player's have garnered preseason accolades. Headlining the bunch is senior midfielder Mallory Schaffer, who was named the 2012 CAA Preseason Player of the Year. Schaffer also made her way on to the Hermann Trophy Award watch list for the second consecutive year, before garnering preseason All-America distinctions by CollegeMadness.com and SoccerAmerica.com.
Senior midfielder Cortlyn Bristol and sophomore back Emily Fredrikson earned 2012 preseason All-CAA first-team accolades, while sophomore forward Emory Camper was named honorable mention.
Tribe in Season
Since 1990, W&M owns a record of 16-6 in season openers. Last season, the Green and Gold opened the 2011 campaign by routing St. John's, 5-0, at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.
CAA Predicted Order
As a unanimous choice, the Tribe was picked to repeat as CAA champions in 2012. Last season, the College posted a conference record of 10-1 as it outscored its CAA foes, 32-6, en route to winning the regular season and tournament titles.