DURHAM, N.C. - The sixth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team did not allow a Terrapins goal for nearly 23 minutes to start the game, but the Blue Devils could not take advantage of the opportunity and ultimately dropped a 12-3 decision to No. 4 Maryland Saturday afternoon in the 2012 ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship semifinals.
"I'd like to congratulate Maryland on a really hard-earned, well-deserved win," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "I thought they played really great from start to finish of the game, so I'd like to congratulate them on a great ACC Tournament win."
The Blue Devils (10-6, 3-2 ACC) received a goal each from Kat Thomas, Taylor Trimble and Kim Wenger, while Kerrin Maurer and Molly Quirke each added an assist. Alex Aust led the way for the Terps (15-3, 3-2 ACC) with seven points on three goals and four assists, followed by Katie Schwarzman with four goals and Karri Ellen Johnson with two goals and two assists.
Duke starting goaltender Mollie Mackler made 12 saves, her fourth double-digit save performance of the season, but the Blue Devils, who were outshot 28-13, were unable to match Maryland's offensive production in the end.
The Blue Devils got off to a quick start with Wenger putting Duke up 1-0 less than two minutes. Duke's defense initially flustered the Maryland attack as Mackler stopped five of the Terps' first eight shots. However, Maryland broke through with 7:31 to go in the first half on a goal from Schwarzman and closed out the half with a 4-0 run.
"Our game plan was to really have the ball on our offensive end and make [Maryland] play defense for an extended period of time and then look to attack," added Kimel. "[The game plan] did well except I felt we weren't being aggressive enough when we initiated our looks. I think defensively, we just did a good job of being organized. I felt as though we were slowing Maryland down in transition and we were making them play settled offense. That's what you need to do with Maryland. You can't get into a shootout with them. I felt like we did a good job of that in the first half."
The Terrapins added two more goals to start the second frame and led 6-1 with 27:23 to go. Quirke fed Trimble to make it 6-2 before Maryland rattled off six straight over the next seven minutes to put the game out of reach.
Maryland advances to Monday's championship game and will face top-seeded North Carolina, a 14-6 victor over No. 4 seed Virginia in the first semifinal contestl. The Terps and the Tar Heels meet at 7 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium for the ACC Championship.
Duke closes out the regular season Saturday, April 28, playing host to Penn at 12 p.m. from Koskinen Stadium.