DURHAM, N.C. --- The No. 4 Duke women’s lacrosse team kept its home winning streak alive by pulling out a 12-11 victory over the No. 9 Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday afternoon in Koskinen Stadium. In a game that began with temperatures in the 60’s and sunny skies but had rain and cool wind blow in during the second half, the momentum was as shifting as the weather, with five ties and three lead changes.
Duke took leads of 4-1 in the first half and 9-7 in the second, but Georgetown battled back to tie the game 5-5 and take a 10-9 lead in the second stanza with 14:42 to play. As has been the case in six of eight games this season, the Blue Devils found themselves trailing, but found a way to come-from-behind and hold on for the win.
Duke has not lost at home since April 1, 2006, a streak that has now spanned 19 straight games.
“Our kids love playing in Koskinen Stadium,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “I think that’s the bottom line. They love the atmosphere. We’ve had so many doubleheaders and that creates tremendous energy in the stands when we’re able to play before the men’s team. As we were able to hold on today there was a lot of positive energy in the stadium that allowed us to sustain for the win.”
Despite losing the draw for the fourth game in a row, 14-11, the Blue Devils remained focused and actually won the last five draw controls over the final 14:42 when it mattered most. Junior midfielder Jess Adam notched her third game-winning goal of the year, when she scored unassisted with 10:32 remaining in the contest. Duke shutout the Hoyas and dominated possession for the next 10:04, which proved to be enough to pull out the victory.
As usual it was junior attackers Megan Del Monte and Carolyn Davis leading the offensive charge for Duke in the game. Del Monte scored three times and Davis chipped in two goals of her own and added three draw controls.
Freshman Emma Hamm was also a major factor in the contest, scoring two goals, picking up two ground balls and winning three draw controls. Sophomore midfielder Lindsay Gilbride tallied one goal, two ground balls and one draw control.
“I feel that Emma’s draw controls, especially in the second half, were critical to regaining momentum.” said Kimel. “In addition her four caused turnovers, especially the one at the end of the game, allowed us to maintain possession and hold on for the win.”
The Devil defense was strong once again, causing 10 turnovers and picking up 12 ground balls. Hamm totaled a team-high four caused turnovers and Gilbride caused two. Junior goalie Kim Imbesi led the way defensively with nine saves on 20 Hoya shots on goal.
Duke improved to 7-1 halfway through its regular season and Georgetown fell to 5-1.
The Hoyas were led by sophomore attacker Molly Ford with three goals and sophomore midfielder Ashby Kaestner (who is the older sister of Duke freshman attacker Christie Kaestner) with two scores and one dish. Duke is now 9-6 all-time against Georgetown and has won four in a row in the series.
Duke will head to Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday, March 22 to take on archrival No. 7 North Carolina at 1:00 p.m., on Fetzer Field.