DURHAM, N.C. - After reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 15th consecutive year and finishing the 2012 season ranked sixth in the nation, head coach Kerstin Kimel and the Duke women's lacrosse team will welcome seven incoming freshmen this fall ahead of the 2013 campaign.
The group of seven includes players from four different states, as Maddy Acton (Sudbury, Mass.), Kelsey Duryea (Beverly, Mass.), Kaki Jennison (Richmond, Va.), Emma Lazaroff (Lafayette, Colo.), Jordan McCarthy (New Vernon, N.J.), Claire Scarrone (Rumson, N.J) and Kelci Smesko (Ridgewood, N.J.) will all come to Duke after completing standout prep and club careers. The Blue Devils' seven newcomers will join an experienced roster of 25 letterwinners that posted an overall record of 12-7 and a 3-2 ACC mark during the 2012 season.
"Our staff and returning players are proud to welcome the seven members of the Class of 2016 to campus," Kimel said. "This group represents an incredible mix of talented students, athletes, leaders and lacrosse players who collectively possess tremendous work ethic, competitive spirit and drive to be the best on and off the field. I am confident they will be outstanding additions to our program and the greater Duke community."
Here is a closer look at each of the incoming freshmen:
Maddy Acton - Midfield - Sudbury, Mass. - Lincoln Sudbury Regional
A two-time Under Armour and and US Lacrosse All-American, Acton has already achieved success on the high school and national levels. The Sudbury, Mass., native was a member of the U.S. under-19 women's national team that won gold at the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship. She also recorded career totals of 264 goals, 148 assists and 281 ground balls during her prep career while leading Lincoln Sudbury to the state semifinals in back-to-back seasons as a junior and senior. Named to ESPN Boston's MIAA all-state team her final season, Acton was voted the best player in her county in each of her final two seasons and was a county all-star all four years.
Kelsey Duryea - Goalie - Beverly, Mass. - The Governor's Academy
Duryea joins the Blue Devils as one of the nation's top prospects between the pipes. She was one of just two goalkeepers selected to the U.S. under-19 women's national team, which captured gold at the 2011 FIL World Championship last summer. Named ESPN's top-seeded goalie for the 2011-12 class, Duryea has also earned Under Armour and US Lacrosse All-America distinction. As a four-year letterwinner at The Governor's Academy in Byfield, Mass., she was twice named a New England all-star and all-league honoree.
Kaki Jennison - Midfield - Richmond, Va. - St. Catherine's School
Two-time All-LIS selection Jennison comes to Duke from Richmond, Va., where she was a three-year letterwinner at St. Catherine's School. Jennison tallied a career-high 35 goals and 11 assists during her senior season, and finished her prep career with 75 goals, 18 assists and 93 ground balls. She also guided St. Catherine's to the state quarterfinals twice and was the recipient of St. Catherine's Lacrosse Coaches' Award as a senior.
Emma Lazaroff - Midfield/Attack - Lafayette, Colo. - Fairview
Colorado's all-time leader in scoring and points, Lazaroff also set the national single season goal scoring record (143) during her senior campaign. The Lafayette, Colo., native enters her collegiate career among the top 25 midfielders and top 100 players overall, according to ESPNHS. A two-time first team All-America selection, Lazaroff is also an Under Armour All-America nominee and guided her high school squad to the state semifinals each of her final two years. The midfielder totaled 380 goals, 100 assists, 272 draw controls and 157 ground balls during her prep career in addition to being named Lacrosse Magazine's West Coast Player of the Year and the Colorado Player of the Year as a senior.
Jordan McCarthy - Midfield - New Vernon, N.J. - The Taft School
McCarthy comes to Duke from New Vernon, N.J., where she was a two-time New England all-star and Founders League all-star for The Taft School. The defensive midfielder also twice earned All-America distinction from US Lacrosse and was listed No. 22 among ESPN's rankings of the top 25 defensive midfielders in the nation heading into the 2012 season. As the captain of her squad as a senior, McCarthy guided Taft to an overall record of 13-2 for the program's best record in her four-year career.
Claire Scarrone - Midfield - Rumson, N.J. - Rumson-Fair Haven Regional
Tabbed the No. 8 midfielder in this year's class by ESPN Rise and one of the top 25 overall players in the country according to MaxPreps, Scarrone begins her career at Duke after garnering both Under Armour and US Lacrosse All-America honors as a senior. Scarrone earned all-state recognition and was named her conference's player of the year during her senior season after amassing career-high totals of 62 goals, 57 assists and 36 draw controls. The Rumson, N.J., native finished her prep career with 139 goals, 112 assists, 252 ground balls, 95 draw controls and 110 forced turnovers while twice leading Rumson-Fair Haven Regional to the New Jersey North Group II State finals.
Kelci Smesko - Midfield/Attack - Ridgewood, N.J. - Ridgewood
A product of Ridgewood, N.J., Smesko was twice named a US Lacrosse All-American during her prep career. She amassed career totals of 293 goals, 110 assists, 102 ground balls and 112 draw controls to become Ridgewood's all-time leading goal and point scorer. A two-time first team all-state and all-county selection, Smesko was also tabbed the North New Jersey Player of the Year in each of her final two seasons, and led her squad to consecutive state titles during her sophomore and junior years.