DURHAM, N.C. – Trailing by three with five minutes remaining in regulation, 12th-ranked Duke saw its comeback bid fall short in a 15-14 loss to No. 4 Syracuse in ACC women’s lacrosse action Saturday at Koskinen Stadium.
Senior attacker Olivia Jenner tallied a career-best six goals on the day, including a score that brought the Blue Devils back within one with 1:50 left on the clock. The Orange (12-2, 4-1 ACC) would hang on for the win, handing Duke its third one-goal loss of the season to drop the squad to 8-4 on the year (2-2 ACC).
“We felt really good coming into this game,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “Certainly the work we do on the draw gives us enough opportunities to have possessions that we can generate goals. We did not do a great job defending them, particularly in the first half. I just felt like our kids were hesitant to send the help where we needed to send it. And they’re too good. [Emily Hawryschuk] is just a force. This year she’s just taken her game to a whole new level and we needed more help to her. It’s frustrating. Twenty turnovers – you can’t do that against a top-10 team. They’re going to make you pay.”
Olivia Jenner finished with a game-high nine points, matching her career best, and hit double digits in draw controls with 10. Sister Maddie Jenner added eight draw controls as the Blue Devils controlled the category, 21-10.
An unassisted Olivia Jenner marker knotted the score at 9-9 heading into the intermission, following an opening half that featured seven ties and six lead changes. Duke held a 13-6 advantage at the draw during the first frame and received five goals from Olivia Jenner, but saw the Orange match the offensive effort with three tallies by six different players.
Syracuse went up by two goals 10 minutes into the second half, and despite scores from Blue Devils Eva Greco and Ellie Majure, put the margin at three at 15-12 with 5:03 remaining. Sophomore Katie Cronin converted on a free position opportunity and, following a Catriona Barry caused turnover, Duke received the critical score from Olivia Jenner that made it a one-goal contest. Maddie Jenner helped the Blue Devils win the ensuing possession but the squad could not break through in the game’s waning seconds.
“We have to be better,” Kimel said. “We have to be more dependable, reliable. It’s in our decision-making. I really challenged them at one of the timeouts in the second half to do a better job in our system, particularly in the clear, and we did it. I just think that mentality, with our young team, has to be something we have every single game and day so we can play up to our potential.”
Emily Hawryschuk paced the Orange with four goals and an assist while Meaghan Tyrrell and Sam Swart also posted hat tricks for the visitors. Syracuse goalkeeper Asa Goldstock totaled nine ground balls and six saves in the win.
Junior Gabbe Cadoux recorded three saves in goal for Duke before senior Jamie Lockwood entered to make four stops. Freshman midfielder Veronica Hineman finished with two ground balls and two caused turnovers and Barry also added two caused turnovers, though the Blue Devils surrendered 20 turnovers of their own.
Saturday also marked Alumni Day and the Blue Devils’ second annual “It Takes A Team – DukeWLAX for DCI” game, benefitting the Duke Cancer Institute and cancer awareness and research efforts. Fans can continue to support the cause online at goduke.us/DCI2019.
Duke continues its ACC slate next weekend, traveling to Newton, Mass., to face the nation’s top-ranked team in Boston College Saturday, April 6 at 12 p.m.