WILLIAMSBURG, Va. --- The Duke women’s lacrosse team overcame a trying first half to run away with an 18-8 victory over William & Mary on Sunday afternoon at Albert-Daly Field. The Blue Devils used another solid effort by goalkeeper Kim Imbesi and big offensive outputs by midfielder Jess Adam and sophomore Lindsay Gilbride to gain their fourth victory of the season.
Duke appeared to be cruising early in the first period, taking leads of 4-1 and 6-2 over the Tribe in the first 18:03. However, William & Mary battled back by notching three of the final four goals of the half to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 7-5 going into the locker room.
Juniors Carolyn Davis and Megan Del Monte led the Duke offense in the first half, each scoring two goals. Adam contributed three assists and sophomore Gilbride hit paydirt twice in the first stanza, and the pair continued their tear in the second to help Duke blow the game wide open.
The Blue Devils scored nine of the first 10 goals and 11 of the total 14 put in by both squads in the second half. Freshman midfielder Emma Hamm scored two goals and one assist in the second period and finished the afternoon with two goals, two assists, three caused turnovers, three draw controls and three ground balls. Freshman attacker Christie Kaestner found the back of the net three times in the second half to aid the offensive effort.
“I think the difference in the second half was we picked up on getting the ground balls and winning more of the draws,” said Adam.
Adam would finish with two goals and four assists for six points, and added two ground balls and one draw control. Gilbride had a career day, tallying four goals on six shots, plus one assist and one caused turnover.
“As the game went on we continued to get in a good flow offensively and we’ve been working on seeing people in the middle,” said Adam. “It really started to click today.”
The Devil defense was tested in the first half but settled down in the second, as Imbesi recorded nine saves overall. In two games this weekend, the junior posted 19 saves and only allowed 14 goals. The Blue Devils as a unit caused 12 turnovers and broke up five of the Tribe’s 14 clears on Sunday. Junior defender Christina Germinario picked up three ground balls and sophomore midfielder Danielle Kachulis picked up two and caused two turnovers.
Duke won the draw as it has every game this season, although it was much closer this time with just a 15-13 advantage for the Devils. Senior midfielder Allie Johnson was once again the main reason behind this statistic, as she grabbed four draws on the day. The native of Annapolis, Md., has absolutely dominated on the draw this season, picking up 18 in just four games. Freshman Sarah Bullard also grabbed three to go along with two goals for the afternoon.
William & Mary was led by midfielder Jaime Sellers with four goals and attacker Ashley Holofcener who scored twice.
The win pushed the Blue Devils to 4-0 for the fifth consecutive season and sixth time in the program’s 13 years. William & Mary fell to 2-1 on the year.
“I thought both teams were a great test for us,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel on the weekend Virginia swing. “Today was our sixth game in three weeks and second weekend in a row with two games, and considering all of that I was really happy with how we played today. A lot of people got to play, we played really solid defense and now we’re really looking forward to and ready for ACC play.”
Duke improved to 9-3 all-time against William & Mary, having won nine straight contests between the two teams. Duke has played the Tribe in every year of the Blue Devil program’s existence, with the exception of 2004.
Duke will face ACC foe Maryland (No. 3 IL/No. 4 LM) on Saturday, March 1 at 12:00 p.m., in Koskinen Stadium. It will be the first of three March doubleheaders with the men’s lacrosse team, who will also face Maryland that evening at 5:30 p.m.