DURHAM, N.C. – The 20th-ranked Blue Devils outscored Kennesaw State 16-4 in the first half to fuel a 21-7 victory over the Owls Monday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
Senior attacker Kyra Harney totaled a career-best eight points as Duke improved to 6-3 on the season.
Junior attacker Olivia Jenner found senior midfielder Maddie Crutchfield 11 seconds into the contest, sparking a 4-0 run by the Blue Devils to start things off. After Kennesaw State got on the board at the 24:09 mark, freshman attacker Charlotte North secured her team-leading eighth hat trick of the season less than seven minutes in.
Freshmen Mary Markwordt and Abby Landry and sophomore Catherine Cordrey all chimed in with tallies during a 7-0 Duke run that put the score at 11-1. Strong defensive play and a 15-6 first half advantage at the draw kept possession with the Blue Devils for much of the opening frame.
“We wanted to come out with a lot of energy,” said senior defender Anne Slusser. “We had really good 1v1s and I think everyone was ready off-ball. When one person slid, we had the next slide and everyone was big and open. It really was just a team defensive effort. And then our goalies have been doing amazing ... We’re a really selfless unit right now and everyone is just playing for each other.”
After Duke rounded out the first half with three unanswered goals, the Owls broke through for a pair of tallies early in the second period. However, the Blue Devils countered with a 4-0 run that spanned eight minutes, putting the squad over the 20-goal mark for the third time this year. Defensively, Duke surrendered a season-low seven tallies.
Nine different Blue Devils found the back of the net, led by four markers each from Harney and North. Landry collected the first hat trick of her career and Markwordt finished with a season-best four points in her first collegiate start.
“Every game that we’ve played so far, we’re just trying to play our best brand of lacrosse and I think we did a really good job of that today,” Harney said. “We have a lot of different scoring options on this team. We did a really good job of creating in transition. We had a lot of assisted goals today, so I think that shows we’re moving the ball really well and that when we’re in transition, we’re really big threats.”
On the day, Duke placed 30 of its 36 shots on cage and limited Kennesaw State to just 14 shots. The Blue Devils also controlled the draw, 22-8, behind seven draws from Jenner and three each by Crutchfield and freshmen midfielders Catriona Barry and Katie Cronin. Barry also turned in a pair of caused turnovers in the win.
Siena Gore headlined Kennesaw State’s attack with three goals.
The Blue Devils return to ACC play this weekend, hosting No. 9 Virginia Saturday at Koskinen Stadium. The contest is slated for a 4 p.m. start on ACC Network Extra.