DURHAM, N.C. – Trailing by just one at halftime, the 20th-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team was unable to keep pace with No. 11 Penn in the second period, falling 15-11 Saturday in non-conference action at Koskinen Stadium.
Despite controlling the draw by a 17-11 margin and receiving 10 saves from sophomore goalkeeper Gabbe Cadoux, the Blue Devils struggled to match the Quakers on the offensive end over the final 18 minutes. The loss dropped Duke to 5-3 on the season entering a Monday matchup with Kennesaw State.
Following a career-best 15 draw control outing last weekend, junior Olivia Jenner corralled eight draws Saturday against the Quakers. Senior midfielder Maddie Crutchfield added five and led all Blue Devils with three goals, marking her fifth hat trick of the season.
“In the first half, we did a good job of matching intensity and discipline, taking advantage of opportunities and finishing on shots,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We certainly gave ourselves enough opportunities on the draw. I think we did not shoot well. Some of that, I don’t think our offense executed as well as we could have … Penn really capitalized on good ball movement, hard cuts and hard dodges. To our defense’s credit, I think we forced them to look for their fourth and fifth option, so I’m proud of that sustained effort. It just wasn’t good enough today.”
A back and forth first half began with the two sides trading free position goals. Penn took a 3-1 advantage before back-to-back tallies by seniors Kyra Harney and Crutchfield knotted the contest for the second of five times on the day.
Sophomore midfielder Catherine Cordrey became Duke’s sixth different scorer after finishing on a pass from freshman Mary Markwordt at the 7:21 mark in the first, but Penn would take a 7-6 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Cadoux notched three stops on a Penn possession early in the second half, and freshman Katie Cronin followed with her first career goal to keep the Blue Devils within one at 8-7. The teams swapped tallies before the Quakers rattled off five unanswered to make it a 14-8 contest.
Freshman attacker Charlotte North ended a 14-minute scoring drought by Duke, capitalizing on a fast break. After Penn’s Zoe Belodeau notched her fifth goal of the afternoon, Crutchfield countered on a Markwordt assist and won the ensuing draw, setting up a Harney score. However, the 3-1 run to round out the contest was not enough for the Blue Devils.
On the day, the Quakers held a narrow 39-37 edge in shots and picked up 16 ground balls to 13 by Duke. Penn committed nine turnovers to 15 by the Blue Devils.
Belodeau added two assists in the Penn victory to give her a game-high seven points, while teammates Alex Condon and Gabby Rosenzweig notched four and three tallies, respectively. In goal, the Quakers’ Mikail Cheeseman finished with 14 saves.
Duke’s Monday contest against Kennesaw State is slated for a 3 p.m. start from Koskinen Stadium. The non-conference matchup will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.