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Courtesy: Duke Photography
Tucci Blog: Heading Home for the Holidays
Saturday 12/18/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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Duke junior Emma Tucci will be blogging throughout the 2012-13 season, giving Duke fans an inside look at life on the Blue Devil women's lacrosse team. Look for Emma's blog all year on GoDuke.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Durham!

These past two weeks have been extremely productive and busy for Duke Women's Lacrosse. During finals week, we were all hunkered down in the library and the K Center to make sure that we ended the semester with those A's!

It's actually frightening that my junior fall is over...I remember back to my freshman fall when I was struggling to memorize the layers of the earth and how the process of photosynthesis works. I was thinking, 'just get me home!' Now, I am going through the exact opposite effect. I don't want to leave. My semesters here are numbered! Sorry, Mom and Dad.

Anyways, these last few weeks have been rather eventful! Kerstin announced our 2013 captains and it is with great enthusiasm that I report to you that Lauren Martin, Mie Graham, Kaitlin Gaiss and Taylor Virden have been selected to serve and represent our team for the coming season. I am extremely excited to see these four teammates help carry our team to reach our favorite weekend in May.

Speaking of preparation for May, Coach Howser has really been putting our bodies to the test as we endured the final weeks of training before everyone gets to head home. We ran X's, turkeys, chickens, thirty, sixty and ninety yards with Coach. Our training this fall has been challenging, yet I look back on all that we have accomplished and I know that it will only put us in a better position going into our January pre-season. He even let us play soccer for the last 10 minutes of training one day to let us have some fun. Everyone revisited the glory days of high school sports during our game. Tara Stokes, Alyssa Ogle and Taylor Virden looked as though they had never quit the game. Sarah Kendrick came up with an incredible, no flinch, under pressure save in goal, which solidified the White team's 1-0 victory. Molly Quirke still has nightmares about missing that shot...It was a tough one for Deuces.

On the last day of practice, the coaches came up with a fun and different plan: Blue/White Olympics. The first event was a series of dodge ball matches. The White team went 2-0 in the series. Kerrin Maurer has an arm like C.C Sabathia. Her curveball was on the money with every hit, although she still feels sore a week later from her lights-out performance.

Madison Acton also helped propel the White team to victory with her impeccable accuracy. The next event is a Duke lacrosse favorite: the pipe game. Basically we try and aim the ball to hit the top pipe of the goal, in order to move to the next level. Each member of both two teams got a chance to try and hit the pipe. Then, we moved onto an individual round, which had Jordan McCarthy, for Blue, and Sydney Peterson, for White, matched up against each other. I believe that the final count had Jordan with three pipes and Sydney with either one or two. The Blue team took the W on that competition, despite Sydney's excellent skills.  I must say I was very impressed with our little freshman, Jordan. She pulled through for her team after they got destroyed in dodge ball.

The last event of Blue/White Olympics was another Duke lacrosse camp favorite: relay races. We brought out the infamous crab and bear walk trials to end the races. The Blue team had a lot of momentum going into this round, and I honestly think that the White team couldn't keep up with their energy. Gabby Moise was almost crab-walking at the speed she normally runs at - which is pretty fast.

Overall, the Blue team finished the day with a 2-1 victory over the White team. Despite our loss, the Olympic Games were the perfect ending to an incredible fall season.

After lacrosse ended our team got into the holiday spirit and got together for the annual Secret Santa gift exchange. Lauren Martin and Caroline Keating had us over at their apartment for warm cookies, the Giants game and gift-giving. I think that the top items were Emma Lazaroff's gift to Sydney Peterson, which was a giant, maybe five-pound, bag of popcorn. Another fan favorite was Maddy Morrissey's gift to Makenzie Hommel. The annual nutcracker gift, which has been a hit since her freshman year, was a "shopping nutcracker" that will look lovely in Makenzie's apartment. I honestly have no idea where Maddy finds these eccentric wooden dolls, but every year we have all been impressed with her selections. I secretly hope that she picks me next year.

Lastly, the coaches sent us off with a catered meal from Nana Taco at Kerstin's house. We also took our holiday card photo sporting our new training pullovers! This year we got incredibly comfortable Duke blue Nike quarter-zips. They are perfect for our winter training because most of us go home and don't get to run in the beautiful 70-degree weather anymore.

The semester flew by without much time for reflection. However, as I sit in the library procrastinating instead of studying, I've had time to relive the incredible memories of this past fall. We welcomed seven new freshmen and a new assistant coach into our family. It has been an incredible experience getting to know my new teammates and coach. I can't wait to see what they bring to our season this spring; their swag is out of controllllll.  And although a break from school is definitely needed, I know that my teammates will come back ready to compete hard in preseason. Please stay tuned for my next post!

Until then, enjoy the holidays, family and friends!

Duke Lax Love,

Ocho


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