Honestly, the 2014 South of the Boarder scrimmage taught us a whole of nothing. While the #1 Tar Heels and the #6 Blue Devils were hosting the South of the Border tournament on the campus of Duke University they did not bring out the fireworks. I did not make it to the first set of games but was able to take in the second set. Duke was taking on Delaware and UNC was playing James Madison. I watched much more of the UNC game than the Duke game.
Something interesting to note is that UNC practiced their backer zone defense that helped them shut down Northwestern in the Final Four last year. I do not expect UNC to show the backer zone in a single regular season game this year. With defenders like Sloane Serpe, Margaret Corzel, Caileigh Sindall and Mallory Frysinger the Tar Heels can play man to man defense and win most games handily. The most telling thing about the UNC backer zone was how tight they packed it in. Maggie Bill and Caileigh Sindall were playing the top of the zone. Corzel and Serpe were playing as the backers. The Tar Heels actually gave up a goal using this defense but that is not a surprise as it was a scrimmage.
Overall, I was not that impressed with the UNC scrimmage versus James Madison. This is, by far and away, the best team in the country and they should dominate a team like James Madison. I know they are without senior leader Brittney Coppa but 20 goals should have been scored against JMU. I wasn’t watching closely but I only saw about 7 or 8 goals scored.
The Tar Heels will play Florida on Saturday as they are looking to avenge the loss that opened the season last year. The Gators beat the Tar Heels 5-3 in Chapel Hill in 2013 in a game that was the lowest scoring of the year for Jenny Levy’s team. I seriously doubt the Gators will be able to hold the Tar Heels under 10 goals this season. The Duke Blue Devils will take on Elon at newly renovated Koskinen on Friday at 3:00 pm. I will be attending each of the games and will give you the round up.
Admittedly, I am just learning most of the Duke roster and their style of play so bear with me as I get to know the team better. They have the majority of their starters returning and they have a tremendous goalie. I will learn much more on Friday and Sunday when they take on the Louisville Cardinals in Durham.