Morris caps standout career at Duke
Blue Devils return locals Chillano, Steele after early exit from NCAAs
The Duke University field hockey team fell short of its expectations this season but two of the three Mercury-area players that were the backbone of the squad will be back next season.
The Blue Devils were the No. 10-ranked team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and looked it after a 3-0 victory over American in the first round. But Delaware scored three late goals for a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals and Duke ended with a 16-4 record and a wait-until-next-year situation.
Senior Heather Morris (Owen J. Roberts) played her final game but coach Pam Bustin can build around two returnees – Alyssa Chillano and Sammi Steele. Junior Chillano (Spring-Ford) finished with 13 goals and six assists for 32 points with five game-winners.
“Alyssa possesses every skill necessary to excel at this sport at the highest level,” the veteran coach said. “She has a mature sense of competition which helps to make her one of our great leaders.”
Steele started all 20 games in goal and played 1,367 minutes, giving up 27 goals with 73 saves and five shutouts.
“Sammi’s fierce competitiveness is quiet and humble,” Bustin said. “You can see the fire burn in her work ethic and how she approaches her role within the game.”
Still, Morris will be tough to replace. She had 11 goals and three assists for 25 points.
“Heather played field hockey to score goals,” the coach said. “She loves the attack and approached