DURHAM, N.C. - Redshirt junior Devon Gagliardi earned her first career hat trick and picked up two assists as Duke defeated Kent State 11-2 Sunday, September 30, at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Eight Blue Devils scored goals in the offensive explosion including junior Emmie Le Marchand who picked up two goals and three assists on the day.
"We came out and really focused on the hockey, and they really focused on getting the job done today," commented head coach Pam Bustin. "I was really pleased with what we felt in the locker room before the match, and how we came out and just stuck to the game plan."
The game started with both teams swapping penalty corners but leaving both teams scoreless. Fourteen minutes into the game, Duke began a 5-0 scoring spree with sophomore Abby Beltrani deflecting a ball from the left corner of the goal to earn her first goal of the season. The deflection came off a shot from Gagliardi who was credited with the assist.
In the 22nd minute, Le Marchand penetrated up the right baseline and made a quick pass to freshman Aileen Johnson who shot from about three yards out to earn her first goal of the year.
At the 26:57 mark, sophomore Martine Chichizola fired a shot from the right side and redshirt junior Gagliardi made a dive to deflect the ball past the goalie, into the back of the net.
Junior Brenna Rescigno joined the scoring action with less than five minutes to play in the half and was assisted by Le Marchand. Just 70 seconds later, senior Mary Nielsen scored off a sliding shot from directly in front of the goal. The assist was credited to Gagliardi.
Duke continued it's scoring drive early into the second half with Gagliardi earning her second goal off a rebound taken by Le Marchand when she flipped the ball over top of the goal keeper Jahna Jordan for the score.
The Blue Devils saw goals from Le Marchand and Gagliardi to put the Blue Devils up 8-0 before Kent State got on the board in the middle of the second half with two goals from sophomore Julia Hoffman.
The contributions from the entire Blue Devil offensive unit was one of the highlights of the day for Bustin.
"We have been lacking that, and we need that type of confidence in building our attack," Bustin said. "We have the talent to do it, we have the structure to do it, and it's just a matter of recognizing it and just getting it done. We were really fortunate today that we were able to put it all together for 70 minutes."
The Blue Devils will travel to College Park, Md., on Saturday, October 6, to face the No. 4 ranked Maryland Terrapins. Game time is set for 1 p.m. A full recap will be available on www.GoDuke.com.