DURHAM, N.C. – Junior defender Callie Humphrey scored from the eight-meter mark with 28 seconds remaining to punctuate a 17-8 victory for the 13th-ranked Blue Devils over Davidson Monday at Koskinen Stadium.
Duke dominated at the draw, holding a 22-5 advantage in the category, and saw sophomore attacker Charlotte North surpass the 100-goal mark for her career with a five-goal output. Head coach Kerstin Kimel’s squad improved to 7-2 on the season and 5-0 this spring in home contests.
Eight different Blue Devils contributed to the scoring and nine different Duke players chimed in with at least one draw control. Senior attacker Olivia Jenner finished with a game-high seven draw controls and joined North in posting a hat trick with three tallies.
“Davidson is a really good team,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “They’re going to be a good team in the Atlantic 10 this year. That said, I would have liked a cleaner performance from us today. I think our team is tired right now. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks … I’m happy with the final score and the number of contributors.”
Olivia Jenner and North spearheaded the Blue Devil attack in the opening minutes, with North recording her 100th career tally at the 20:06 mark. The defensive unit held the Wildcats (6-2) without a goal for nearly 17 minutes, allowing Duke to stretch its lead to 5-2.
“We had a lot of good moments today as an offense collectively and a lot of people contributed,” North said. "We just started to read the defense a little bit better and find the gaps. We were zipping the ball around and everyone was getting a touch and everyone was confident with the ball.”
“We were trying to get the midfielders and attackers who were rotating in and out to understand how their defense was shifting and where the open looks were,” Kimel said. “We started to be able to find those a little easier there in that last little stretch.”
North finished on the second of freshman attacker Eva Greco’s two assists and Olivia Jenner chipped in a free position goal early in the second half. Momentum from the defensive end helped Duke widen the margin to as many as 10 midway through the period.
Davidson broke through for four straight tallies, including two by Emily Weld, to cut it to 14-8 inside the final 10 minutes. However, the Blue Devils rounded out the game on a 3-0 scoring run, with Olivia Jenner, sophomore midfielder Abby Landry and Humphrey all converting at the eight-meter mark.
Humphrey totaled a career-best six ground balls and junior midfielder Lindsey Reynolds added five to help Duke win the category, 27-12. The Blue Devils accounted for 10 caused turnovers while committing just 11 fouls on the day and outshot the Wildcats, 40-17.
“We do everything for each other,” Humphrey said. “On attack, if the balls aren’t going in, I think there’s some great looks. We just want to get it back to them so they can do their thing – that’s the mentality. We’ve worked really, really hard to not let up a goal in the first few minutes. I think that speaks to how hard we work and how badly we want our attack to succeed.”
Jane Digregorio and Weld had two tallies each for Davidson in the loss.
Duke returns to ACC play Saturday at No. 8 Virginia, facing the Cavaliers at 1 p.m. on ACC Network Extra from Charlottesville, Va.