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In the past, Duke has struck recruiting gold from the ranks of the Long Island Fury, an elite, amateur club team in the highly competitive Women's Premier Soccer League. This year, the Blue Devils can add one more to that tally.

Freshman Cody Newman and senior Lorraine Quinn both donned Fury uniforms in high school, as did 2007 Duke captain Rebecca Moros, and all three ended up sporting Duke's blue and white. As members of the Fury's 2006 WPSL national championship team, Newman and Quinn gained valuable preparation for Duke by lining up against the best competition day-in and day-out.

"Playing in that league has given me a lot of experience because it's a similar level," Newman said. "You're playing with a lot of great college players, and it's a fast pace. [The league has] enabled us to get used to that. Not too many people can get a chance to go to a final four, let alone win it."

That league experience will particularly help as Duke starts play in the country's top conference. Newman, a freshman, is counting on her club preparation to ease the transition from high school to college soccer, where there is a marked difference in the intensity and physicality of play.

"College level weeds out club players that didn't compete at the highest level," Quinn said. "So you now have the best of the best, and especially in the ACC, you have the best of the best.

"That was a great experience for Cody, to play against a little bit higher level, more physical and just get her ready for the college game and the ACC."

In addition to her preparation with the Fury, Newman will be able to draw from Quinn's advice and insight. Quinn has offered her guidance to Newman, her friend from their Fury days, since before they joined up at Duke. Now, teammates once again, Quinn has taken Newman under her wing.

"She really helps," Newman said of Quinn. "Whether it's while I'm playing, telling me what I need to be doing-it's been a great help."

The Blue Devils hope Newman and Quinn's close friendship translates to chemistry on the field as well. And as Quinn points out, the two played together for three summers before Newman ever stepped foot on the pitch for Duke.

"It gives us a chance to know each other... know the type of runs we like to make, know our strengths and weaknesses," Quinn said. "So when we're on the field here, we know what type of balls to give each other."

And the connection has already proven fruitful for Duke. Newman is tied for third on the team in goals, with two, while Quinn has posted one tally from her playmaking position in the midfield. Before it lured Newman and Quinn, Duke recruited Moros, one of the top players to come through the program in recent years.

Now, after working with the three players, the Blue Devil coaching staff knows it can count on Fury players to have certain skills, such as being good on the ball and having great knowledge and passion for the game.

"They all are very good students," head coach Robbie Church said of the Fury trio. "They all take their academics seriously, they take their athletics seriously... and they, all three of them, are very good soccer players."

And with so much talent successfully migrating from Long Island to Durham, it seems Duke is eager to keep searching in the same region.

"Once you start getting [players] and they turn out well, you continue to go back to an area," Church said. "That's definitely an area that we'd like to continue to get players from."




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