DURHAM, N.C. – The 25th-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team rounded out its 2018 campaign with a 21-8 defeat of East Carolina Sunday on Senior Day in Koskinen Stadium.
Senior Kyra Harney headlined a balanced scoring effort with a career-high six goals while classmate Grace Fallon finished with four assists and a goal. On the other side of the ball, senior defender Jackie Perry turned in a career-best three ground balls and four caused turnovers as the Blue Devils held the Pirates to single-digit tallies.
“Our seniors did an outstanding job of keeping their heads on straight all week and knowing, not just how important this game was going to be for them, but more importantly how the younger players would remember them based on how they managed this week from a leadership and setting an example standpoint,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “They were fantastic and I think they showed a lot of that on the field today.”
Fallon found Harney for Duke’s first score of the day before play was suspended less than three minutes in due to severe weather. Following an hour-long break in the action, ECU took a 2-1 lead before the Blue Devils took off on a 5-0 run that gave the squad a lead it would never relinquish.
Fallon’s second assist of the afternoon, which came on a Harney goal, marked the 100th point of her career. The co-captain from Monmouth Beach, N.J., became the 27th player in program history to join the century club in points.
After the Pirates’ Madison Lear broke through to narrow the margin to 6-3 at the 22:06 mark, Duke continued to capitalize on its dominance at the draw, rattling off six more unanswered tallies. Harney secured a hat trick inside the game’s opening nine minutes and fellow senior Maddie Crutchfield notched her second goal during the scoring run.
Freshman Charlotte North – who broke the Blue Devils’ freshman points record in last week’s ACC quarterfinals – collected her team-leading 12th hat trick of the season before halftime. A 10-3 run by Duke to close out the opening period gave the home team a 16-6 advantage at the intermission.
Coming off of a 14-save performance against Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament, freshman goalkeeper Chase Henriquez made four stops in the first half Sunday before sophomore Gabbe Cadoux took over between the pipes.
Cadoux anchored a second-half showing that saw the Blue Devil defense surrender just two tallies. Harney tacked on two more goals over the final stretch and freshman Madison Dunk got on the board with her first collegiate marker.
On the day, Duke outshot the Pirates by a 41-16 margin and claimed the draw, 22-8, behind 11 draw controls from junior Olivia Jenner and four each by Crutchfield and freshman Catriona Barry. The Blue Devils also won the ground ball battle, 23-15, and finished 13-of-14 on clearing attempts.
Megan Pallozzi led ECU with four goals while teammate Nicole Legar claimed five draw controls. Abbey Smith and Christina White shared time in the net for the Pirates, combining for seven stops.
Following the contest, Duke honored seniors Crutchfield, Fallon, Harney, Oralee Hespenheide, Perry, Anne Slusser and Kat Zempolich. The group led the program to a 43-32 record, two appearances in the ACC semifinals and a trip to the NCAA semifinals in 2015.
“The biggest impact these seniors have had was in their senior year,” Kimel said. “This year they’ve done an amazing job of being a big part of creating a cohesive team with so many young faces on the field. They definitely helped navigate the ups and downs of this season really well from a leadership standpoint and just trying to keep the team connected and united. So proud of them. I will miss them dearly. I think we as a staff were really close to that group and they will be really missed.”
The Blue Devils wrapped up the season at 8-9, matching their season high in goals in the final game of the year.