Durham County

How much soccer is left for the Duke women? ACC Tournament action starts Sunday.

The Duke women’s soccer team celebrates in the locker room after beating Virginia 1-0 on Thursday night to win the ACC regular season title. The Blue Devils start ACC Tournament play on Sunday by hosting Boston College.
The Duke women’s soccer team celebrates in the locker room after beating Virginia 1-0 on Thursday night to win the ACC regular season title. The Blue Devils start ACC Tournament play on Sunday by hosting Boston College.

Winning the ACC regular season championship is only the first step for Duke’s women’s soccer team. They’ve still got the ACC and NCAA tournaments on the horizon.

The Blue Devils (17-1-0, 10-0-0 ACC) won their third ACC regular season title and their first since 2011 as Kate McDonald scored in the 87th minute for a 1-0 Duke victory at Virginia Thursday night.

They made sure the regular season trophy was buckled in securely for the bus ride back from Charlottesville, Virginia.

The victory was the 17th in a row for the Blue Devils, whose only blemish was a 2-1 season-opening loss against rival North Carolina at WakeMed Soccer Park. It also moved this squad into a tie for second place for victories in a season at Duke. They still have at least two games remaining – first-round games in the upcoming tournaments – so more wins can be added to the Blue Devils’ ledger.

“Our players have just wanted to be great,” Duke coach Robbie Church said in a news release. “Since day one they’ve had a mission and it was to go 10-0-0 in the toughest league in the country. I’m just very happy for our players and our staff.”

Duke also recorded its 12th shutout of the season and eighth against ACC competition to set a new school record.

Duke goalkeeper EJ Proctor earned her ninth shutout, which gave her a career total of 30. Her career total is third best at Duke.

The Blue Devils will open ACC Tournament play on Sunday, Oct. 29, by hosting No. 8 seed Boston College. They’ll face off at Koskinen Stadium at 1 p.m. The winner of that match will head to Charleston, South Carolina for the tournament semifinals on Nov. 3.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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