DURHAM, N.C. – The seventh-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team stayed on pace with fifth-ranked Boston College in a high-scoring first half, but ultimately suffered a 13-11 setback to the Eagles Saturday afternoon in ACC action at Koskinen Stadium.
With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to 8-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Boston College moved to 10-3 on the year and 2-3 in the league.
Sophomore Kelci Smesko led the Duke scoring effort in the regular season home finale, recording four goals on the day. Senior Sydney Peterson and junior Kerrin Maurer also notched multiple tallies while Maurer and senior Taylor Virden combined for 11 draw controls to help the Blue Devils win the category, 15-11.
Sarah Mannelly and Covie Stanwick notched five goals each for the Eagles, who outshot Duke by a 22-17 margin and led in ground balls, 13-6.
“Boston College was really good offensively and they were definitely aggressive defensively,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “I was happy with our performance on the draw and I thought offensively we were pretty efficient. But defensively we didn’t play well.”
The first 12 minutes of the contest were a back-and-forth affair until Boston College used a 4-0 scoring run to build an 8-4 advantage. The Blue Devils then responded with a quick 4-0 run of their own to knot the game at 8-8 with just over three minutes remaining. Smesko, Maurer, Peterson and sophomore Maddy Acton all registered goals during the scoring burst but the Eagles’ Mannelly added a marker just before the break to give the visiting squad a 9-8 lead at halftime.
Brooke Blue and Stanwick opened the second period with goals for Boston College to push the margin to three at 11-8. A caused turnover by freshman defender Isabelle Montagne led to a goal by senior Maddy Morrissey, who was assisted by Peterson on the play. Duke found the back of the net again 23 seconds later, as Smesko netted an offering from junior Chelsea Landon.
After Mannelly scored midway through the period, the Blue Devils once again closed the gap to one at 12-11 on Smesko’s fourth goal. Stanwick would counter with another score, however, and the Eagles eluded the Duke defense over the final six minutes to conclude the contest.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea finished with five saves and three ground balls while Emily Mata had three saves in the net for Boston College.
Saturday’s contest also marked Senior Day for Blue Devils Katherine Fraile, Maddy Morrissey, Sydney Peterson, Molly Quirke, Sophia Sourlis, Tara Stokes, Emma Tucci and Taylor Virden. The group has guided the Duke program to a 49-23 record, one trip to the national semifinals and two appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals over the past four seasons.
“This is a really special senior class,” Kimel said. “They are selfless, team-first type of kids. That’s what you want your seniors embodying. They’ve done a great job.”
Duke continues a tough stretch in conference play next week, traveling to Notre Dame Friday, Apr. 11 for a 7 p.m. matchup, which will be broadcast live on ESPN3.