DURHAM, N.C. - Down a goal with under 10 minutes to play, the sixth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team scored three unanswered in just over two minutes to secure a 12-11, come-from-behind victory over No. 20 Boston College Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
With the win, the Blue Devils end a three-game slide and improve to 9-5 (3-2 ACC) on the year, while earning their 11th victory in 11 tries over Boston College (6-7, 1-4 ACC).
Redshirt senior Emma Hamm led the way for Duke with two goals and three assists to go along with eight draw controls. Senior Kim Wenger turned in a complete game with two goals, two ground balls, two draw controls, two caused turnovers and an assist, and freshman Taylor Trimble netted a pair of goals to bring her team-leading total to 23 on the year.
"The big thing was the draw control," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "That was obviously a huge factor, to be able to have the ball and generate our offense. In general, I think it was an inconsistent performance for us."
Despite jumping out to a 6-3 lead in the first half, the Blue Devils trailed 8-7 at the intermission and found themselves down by two midway through the second frame. Wenger powered her way into the arc for her 17th goal of the season to make it a 9-8 game with 17:51 to play before senior Kat Thomas, who made her first appearance of the year after missing 13 games due to injury, tied the game on a free position goal at the 46:58 mark.
BC's Brittany Wilton scored her second goal of the afternoon to put the Eagles ahead by one with 9:12 to go before the Duke offense put up three goals in 2:14 to take a two-goal lead. Wenger tied the game at 10-10 on a free position goal, which Duke followed with a Molly Quirke tally 17 seconds later. After Trimble came away with the ensuing draw control, freshman Kerrin Maurer bolstered the Blue Devils' lead to 12-10 on an open-net goal with 1:38 to play.
The two teams proceeded to traded turnovers, and a flurry of Eagle shots led to a Brooke Blue goal with 17 seconds to go. But Hamm would win the next draw and Duke ran out the remaining time for the victory.
"The first half, our offense was really rattling off goals and the defense was struggling," added Kimel. "It reversed itself in the second half where our attack was not finding a good flow of the game and our defense really tightened up and did a good job."
The Eagles led 1-0 and 3-2 to start the game, finishing the first half with a 12-10 advantage in shots. Hamm scored two straight to kick off a 4-0 Duke run, but BC ended the period with a 5-1 spurt to take the one-goal halftime lead.
Boston College outshot Duke, 24-19, for the game, however, the Blue Devils won the draw control battle 16-9 while also converting on all three of their free position opportunities. Senior goaltender Mollie Mackler made six saves in the win, including four saves off free position shots to hold BC to 2-for-7 on free position chances.
Kristin Igoe paced the Eagle offense with four goals, but the Blue Devils were able to hold her scoreless in the second stanza. Wilton and Mikaela Rix added two goals each for Boston College.
"We held [Kristin] Igoe to no goals in the second half, which was huge. We decided we were going to face guard he and we didn't let her have the ball very much. That was Gabby Moise who did that for us and she did a great job. But for us, the biggest thing is we've been up and down over the course of the season and we've got to find a way to play more consistently."
Next up, Duke will play host to High Point Wednesday, April 11. Opening draw is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Koskinen Stadium