Women's countdown: No. 4 Duke
We are counting down the top 30 women's teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek rank: 2
Go-to girl: Senior Laetitia Beck
Season outlook: The Blue Devils will be in uncharted territory without Lindy Duncan. The low-key All-American was a top-10 machine during her four-year tenure and a player you could always count on for a score. Lucky for head coach Dan Brooks, a strong top three can help fill the void.
Seniors Laetitia Beck and Alejandra Cangrejo can be as consistent as Duncan. Both were close at her heels last season, as was Celine Boutier, who returns as a sophomore this season. All three players maintained a scoring average just higher than 73. Beck and Cangrejo have improved markedly during their time in Durham, N.C., and Boutier arrived with a lot of raw talent. All should be even better this year.
It’s a talented core, but now the Devils just need to find similar consistency at the Nos. 4 and 5 slots. Junior Irene Jung and sophomore Yi Xiao contributed in a handful of events last season, but a trio of freshmen could make an even bigger impact, including Esther Lee and Sandy Choi of California and China's Yu Liu.
Duke will be looking to build on back-to-back victories at the ACC Championship and NCAA Central Regional, the team’s only titles last season. If the freshmen can acclimate quickly and gain experience, the Devils could be primed for another late-season run.
– Julie Williams