Duke looks to Cobb for leadership, offense more than ever
Yet it might be her veteran influence that has the biggest impact this year. Twenty of 29 Blue Devils are underclassmen, so they will lean on Cobb’s veteran leadership more than ever.
“We have to have a great year out of Kelly,” Duke coach Robbie Church told the Duke Chronicle. “She’s healthy and she’s having fun and she can run without pain. She’s playing at a very high level and we have to have her playing at a really high level.”
Cobb, of Chugiak High fame, spent part of this summer training with the Under-20 national team and owns a gold medal from the 2012 U-20 World Cup.
She is healthy for the first time in three years, free from ankle and knee pain. The last time she felt this good was her freshman season when she led Duke to the 2011 NCAA title match.
Duke lost that match 1-0, a disappointment that still drives Cobb today. Her only goal is to end her senior season with a national championship.
“Anything else is less than satisfactory,” Cobb said. “I know that back when I was a freshman we went all the way to the national championship game, but I still think every year that we’ve had the talent to go all the way so I’m hoping senior year I’ll end it right.”