DURHAM, N.C. – The 20th-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team kicked off the 2018 campaign with an emphatic 17-9 victory over 21st-ranked Elon Sunday at the Cohan Turf Fields.
Nine different Blue Devils found the back of the net in the season-opening win and sophomore goalkeeper Gabbe Cadoux notched 10 saves to anchor a defensive unit that held the Phoenix to just three first-half tallies.
Senior midfielder Maddie Crutchfield, a Preseason All-ACC selection, paced the attack with four goals and one assist and rookie Charlotte North also recorded a hat trick in her Duke debut. A total of nine Blue Devil freshmen took the field for the first time, with North, midfielders Catriona Barry and Abby Landry and defender Gigi Vasile all earning starting nods.
“This group has worked really hard from September 1st on,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We have 10 new faces and we have some really talented kids in that group. We’ve worked really hard to try to put a game together like we did today – to be able to be really solid defensively, be a threat out of transition and to execute offensively. I’m very pleased with our first outing.”
Crutchfield tallied Duke’s first goal of the season just over four minutes in on an assist from junior Olivia Jenner. North and fellow freshman Mary Markwordt both registered the first markers of their collegiate careers and the defense forced an early shot clock violation as the home squad jumped out to a 4-1 lead.
Cadoux chimed in from the other end with three stops in the net and Jenner guided the Blue Devils to an early 6-3 advantage at the draw. Crutchfield secured a hat trick by the intermission to send Duke into the locker room up, 11-3.
Defensively, the Blue Devils held Elon to the three first-half goals on 12 shots, including a 2-of-5 performance at the eight-meter mark.
Duke received quick tallies from senior Kyra Harney and Jenner to open a rainy second half. An Anne Slusser caused turnover then set up a score by senior Grace Fallon, who converted on a free position opportunity. The Phoenix responded with three goals over the next nine minutes, including one by Stephanie Asher at the 6:27 mark that cut it to 15-7. Asher went on to finish with five tallies while teammates Abby Godfrey, Kelsey Dupere and Cami Lynch had one each.
North picked up her hat trick inside the final five minutes and sophomore Lindsey Reynolds tacked on a free position goal with 48 seconds remaining to round out the season-opening victory.
On the day, Duke outshot Elon, 32-25, and held a 16-12 advantage at the draw behind nine draws by Jenner. The Blue Devils also won the ground ball battle, 17-13, and went 18-of-19 on clearing attempts.
Duke continues its season-opening home stand next weekend, welcoming Campbell Friday at 2 p.m. and Northwestern Sunday at 12 p.m.