DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s lacrosse team is set to host an opening round game for the fourth straight year as the Blue Devils received the No. 7 seed in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship. Duke will play host to Virginia 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13 at Koskinen Stadium.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-877-375-3853. Parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis in the Bassett Drive/Grounds Lot. Parking in Whitford Drive will be by list only.
“We are thrilled to be in the field of 16 and to have earned a No. 7 seed overall," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "I am really proud of our team; this is a great reflection of how hard our players have worked, developed and stuck together despite a good deal of adversity. With exams behind us, we look forward to the week of preparation and will expect a great game with Virginia on Sunday.”
Sunday marks the fifth time Duke and Virginia have met in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers hold a 3-1 advantage over the Blue Devils in NCAA Championship contests. Duke won the last NCAA meeting between the two schools, a 15-13 decision at Koskinen Stadium in the first round of the 2009 tournament.
Overall, Virginia leads the all-time series 19-9. The Blue Devils and the Cavaliers last met on March 24, 2012 with UVa earning a 14-12 victory in Durham.
Coming off a national semifinal appearance in 2011, Duke is 11-6 in 2012 and will be making its 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils earned their first NCAA Tournament bid in 1998 and have made an appearance in the postseason event in each of the following seasons. Duke is one of just six programs with consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances of five or more years, joining Maryland (23, 1990-2012), Virginia (17, 1996-2012), Northwestern (9, 2004-12), North Carolina (8, 2005-12) and Pennsylvania (6, 2007-12).
Sunday’s match marks the 13th NCAA Championship first round game hosted by the Blue Devils. Duke holds a 10-3 record, and 10-2 mark at home, in NCAA Tournament first round games. The Blue Devils own an all-time record of 16-14 in NCAA Championship competition with six trips to the national semifinals (1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011).
Freshman Kerrin Maurer leads the Duke offense with 48 points on 24 goals and 24 assists. Senior All-ACC pick Kim Wenger has a career-high 41 points off 23 goals and 18 assists, while redshirt senior Emma Hamm, also an All-ACC selection, has 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points. In total, Duke has five players with 20-plus goals seven with 20-plus points on the season.
Despite the loss of several key starters, Duke is one of just 11 teams in Division I to limit opposing teams to under nine goals per game this season. With 102 saves, senior All-ACC goaltender Mollie Mackler has anchored the Blue Devils’ defense and sports a .456 save percentage and career-best 8.53 goals against average. Sophomore Taylor Virden joins Hamm, Mackler and Wenger as the only Blue Devils to top 20 ground balls this year. Virden’s total of 14 caused turnovers also ranks second on the team behind Hamm’s 19.
On the draw, Hamm has been a dominant presence for Duke with a school record 84 draw controls in 2012. Wenger ranks second on the squad with a career-high 46 and is followed by Virden with 24 and freshman Taylor Trimble with 20.
Virginia is 11-7 on the season after falling to Northwestern to close out the regular season. The Cavaliers, who have six players with 25 or more points in 2012, are led by Josie Owen with 76 points on 41 goals and 35 assists.
The winner of Sunday’s contest will advance to play the winner of the No. 2 seed Northwestern/Notre Dame matchup in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.