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NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
#8 Duke (15-4-3) at #3 Alabama (22-2-1)
Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 – 7:00 PM (ET) – ESPN+
Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Alabama Soccer Stadium)
ESPN+ Talent: Gray Robertson (PXP), Hayley MacDonald (Color)
NEED TO KNOW
• For the ninth time out of the last 12 years, Duke will play in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals as the second-seeded Blue Devils (15-4-3) will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face top-seeded Alabama (22-2-1) on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. (ET), at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
• The match will be aired live on ESPN+ with Gray Robertson (PXP) and Hayley MacDonald (Color) calling the action.
• Duke’s nine NCAA Quarterfinal appearances since 2011 ranks second nationally under the direction of head coach Robbie Church.
• Duke is making its 28th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and enter as a top-16 national seed for the seventh time out of the last eight seasons.
• Duke features a 48-23-11 overall record in 28 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
• It marks the first time in school history Duke has earned a No. 2 seed, after receiving a No. 1 seed three times and No. 3 seed on five occasions.
• Duke will face its ninth top-10 team this season on Friday.
• In 39 matches played at Duke, Michelle Cooper has tallied at least a goal or assist in 28 of those contests.
• The ACC features five teams out of eight in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
STORYLINES/OTHER BLUE DEVIL NOTES
• Two of the top two scorers in the nation will hit the pitch on Friday in the quarterfinals with Duke’s Michelle Cooper and Alabama’s Riley Mattingly Parker. Both have tallied 17 goals on the season.
• Duke and Alabama also feature two of the best scoring duos in the nation. Michelle Cooper and Kat Rader of Duke rank second with 29 goals, while Riley Mattingly Parker and Ashlynn Serepca rank fifth with 26 goals.
• Michelle Cooper of Duke and Brooke Steere of Alabama played together for the Michigan Hawks club team.
• Delaney Graham needs 26 minutes played to become Duke’s all-time minutes played leader in the NCAA Tournament. She owns 1,337 minutes.
• Michelle Cooper is the only player in the nation to rank in the top-10 in goals (17), assists (11) and points (45).
• The Blue Devils have registered 15 wins under head coach Robbie Church for the ninth time.
• Katie Groff owns four goals over her career and three of those are game-winners, after scoring the winner against Texas.
• Duke has not dropped a match since Oct. 13 at FSU. Over those eight matches, the Blue Devils are 5-0-3 and outscored opponents 15-4.
• Michelle Cooper and Kat Rader have combined for 29 goals on the season.
• A total of three teams that remain in the 2022 NCAA Tournament feature sister tandems — Arkansas, Duke, and North Carolina. Duke’s Jenna and Emily Royson along with Delaney and Maggie Graham own the most combined starts among sisters this season (85).
• Either Kat Rader or Michelle Cooper have scored in 12 of Duke’s 22 matches.
• When Kat Rader scores this season, the Blue Devils feature a 9-0-1 ledger. Duke is 9-1-1 this season and 19-1-1 over the last two years when Michelle Cooper scores.
• In the NCAA RPI, Duke is No. 7 with its four losses coming to FSU (1), UCLA (3), UNC (5), Virginia (10). The Blue Devils’ schedule is ranked the toughest nationally by the NCAA.
THE SERIES WITH ALABAMA
• Duke and Alabama will meet for the fourth time in school history and the first since Oct. 4, 1997. The Blue Devils hold a 3-0 lead in the series with all three meetings coming in Durham.
• In the last meeting in 1997, Duke totaled a 3-0 victory. The Blue Devils have outscored Alabama 16-0 in three meetings.
• Head coach Robbie Church owns a 1-3 ledger versus Alabama over his career.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE
• Alabama has totaled an impressive 22-2-1 record this season and went 10-0 in SEC action.
• The Crimson Tide fell to South Carolina, 1-0, in the SEC Championship, which is their only loss since August.
DUKE VS. THE SEC
• The Blue Devils are 38-19-9 all-time against SEC opponents. Duke is on a current five-game winning streak against SEC foes.
• In the NCAA Tournament, the Blue Devils own an 8-1-5 record against SEC opponents, including a 4-0 ledger in the last four meetings.
A WIN WOULD…
• Send Duke into the NCAA College Cup for the fifth time in school history and the fourth time under head coach Robbie Church (1992, 2011, 2015, 2017).
• Give Duke 16 wins on the season, which would tie for the third-most wins in a year for Church in his 22 years at Duke — 23 (2017), 22 (2011), 16 (2021) and 16 (2018). It will also rank tied for fifth on Duke’s all-time list.
• The Blue Devil defense continues to shine in the postseason as Duke has allowed only two goals over the last five matches, including three shutouts.
• Texas ranked in the top-10 in goals and the Blue Devils allowed only seven shots, two on goal. Alabama ranks No. 1 nationally with 73 goals heading into the match.
• Overall, Duke has allowed only four goals over the last eight matches.
• Duke owns 11 shutouts on the season, while Ruthie Jones owns six in goal.
IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• The Blue Devils are competing in their 28th all-time NCAA Championship and hold a 48-23-11 overall record in 82 tournament matches.
• The Blue Devils are 41-16-10 under Robbie Church in the NCAA Championship. He has led Duke to the big dance in 20 of his 22 seasons in Durham.
• Duke has advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship nine times over the last 12 seasons (since 2011).
NCAA QUARTERFINAL APPEARANCES SINCE 2011
Rk Team Appearances (last)
1. Florida State 10 (2022)
2. Duke 9 (2022)
3. Stanford 7 (2019)
UCLA 7 (2022)
5. North Carolina 6 (2022)
Virginia 6 (2022)
SCHOOL RECORD SEASON…
• Sophomore Michelle Cooper continues to rewrite the Duke record book as she is in just her second season with the Blue Devils.
• She now owns a school-record 45 points, breaking Laura Weinberg’s mark of 44 from 2012. Cooper’s 45 points is the most in the ACC since the 2014 campaign (Makenzy Doniak of Virginia with 51).
• Cooper’s six matches this season with multiple goals also broke Kim DeCesare’s record of five from 2012.
• With her 17 goals on the season, Cooper is one shy of matching Kelly Walbert’s record of 18 from 1994.
• As a team, Duke owns 54 assists to rank sixth on the Blue Devil single-season charts.
• Duke features a squad that has three graduate students along with six seniors who have played in numerous NCAA Tournament contests.
• The Blue Devils have advanced to three straight NCAA Elite Eights, the second round in 2019 and round of 16 in 2018.
• Delaney Graham and Mackenzie Pluck have both played in 15 NCAA Tournament matches and combined to play 2,135 minutes. Jenna Royson played in 10 matches and helped Georgetown collect four shutouts in NCAA play over the previous four seasons. She helped lead Georgetown to the NCAA College Cup as a freshman in 2018.
• Ruthie Jones has appeared in 11 matches in the NCAA Tournament for the Blue Devils in goal and helped Duke to seven shutouts over the last four years. She has allowed only five goals in 11 matches and owns a .48 goals-against average with four shutouts.
• The senior class has increased the amount of NCAA Tournament wins each year they have been at Duke. They won one as freshmen, two as sophomores and three as juniors. What does 2022 have in store for the squad?
• Duke features 10 different players that have scored at least one in the NCAA Tournament – Michelle Cooper (6), Olivia Migli (3), Emmy Duerr (2), Mackenzie Pluck (2), Delaney Graham (2), Elle Piper (1), Kat Rader (1), Sophie Jones (1), Katie Groff (1) and Grace Watkins (1).
LAST TIME OUT
• Duke received two goals from Michelle Cooper and the Blue Devils defeated third-seeded South Carolina, 2-1.
• Cooper scored in the 12th and 84th minutes, while the Gamecocks added a goal with 90 seconds remaining.
IMPRESSIVE START TO 2022 NCAAS…
• Duke is averaging 21.7 shots per game and 2.3 goals through the first three matches.
• Michelle Cooper has scored four goals and notched nine points in those contests. Her nine points ranks third in the 2022 Tournament, while her four goals ranks tied for third.
• Duke has allowed only 18 shots and one goal in the NCAAs. The Blue Devils have allowed only five shots on goal as well.
• Alabama owns a tournament-best 14 goals, while Duke’s one goal allowed ranks tied for second fewest.
A full set of game notes are here.