DAVIDSON, N.C. – Seven different Blue Devils registered goals as the ninth-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team topped Davidson, 14-6, Wednesday afternoon at the Wildcats’ Richardson Stadium.
With the victory, the Blue Devils ended a three-game slide, improving to 10-4 (2-3 ACC) on the spring. As a program, Duke has reached double-digits in the win column for 16 consecutive seasons. Meanwhile, Davidson fell to 9-6 with the loss.
Sophomore Kerrin Maurer paced the Blue Devil attack with five points on two goals and three assists. Sophomore Taylor Trimble tallied her third hat trick of the season while senior Makenzie Hommel, juniors Maddy Morrissey and Molly Quirke and freshman Kelci Smesko scored two goals apiece.
“I was happy that we got back on track,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “Our last outing was not a great offensive outing for us, so I think the fact that we had the scoring pretty well distributed was a great sign moving forward.”
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick two-goal advantage before Hommel netted her team-leading 35th goal of the season on a free position attempt and Maurer added another from the eight-meter mark to make it a 2-2 score at the 18:33 mark.
Following several saves by freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea and aggressive defensive play at the other end of the field, the Blue Devils continued to capitalize at the draw and on free position opportunities over the next 10 minutes of action. Rookies Maddy Acton and Smesko and Morrissey all scored to fuel a 6-0 run by Duke, bringing the score to 6-2 with 9:47 remaining in the first half.
Davidson ended the scoring run with a pair of goals by Emily Cooke and Ann Fucigna, but Quirke answered on an assist from Maurer and Morrissey followed with another free position goal to extend the Blue Devils’ lead to 9-4 at the break.
At the intermission, Duke held an 18-7 advantage in shots and led in draw controls, 10-4. The Blue Devils also went 5-of-8 from the eight-meter mark in the first 30 minutes of play.
After the Wildcats opened the second half with a score Fucigna, Morrissey won three consecutive draw controls to key a 3-0 run for Duke. The Blue Devils continued to dominate time of possession, with a goal by Quirke on an Acton assist making the score 13-5 in the visiting team’s favor with 18:11 left on the clock.
“In the second half, defensively, we locked things up pretty tight,” Kimel said. “[Emily Cooke] is a major facilitator for them, and I thought Gabby [Moise] did a great job on her in the second half. We played really aggressively in the second half and created turnovers and forced them to make mistakes and then came up with the ball.”
Duryea and the Duke defense continued to make stops over the next 10 minutes before Davidson’s Alanna Parker broke through for a score. However, junior Taylor Virden won the ensuing draw and Trimble tallied her third hat trick of the season, converting on an assist from senior Alyssa Ogle. Turnovers cost the Blue Devils a couple of scoring opportunities, but Duryea and the defensive unit held strong the rest of the way as Duke closed the contest on a 5-1 run to win by eight.
Led by a career-high six draw controls from Morrissey and four from Virden, the Blue Devils won the category by a 15-6 margin. Duke also outshot Davidson, 30-15, and won the ground ball battle, 17-16 in the win.
Duryea finished with nine saves in goal along with two ground balls, pushing her ledger to 6-3 in 10 appearances. Sophomore defender Gabby Moise added two caused turnovers and a career-high four ground balls as the Blue Devil defense limited its opponent to single-digit scoring for the seventh time this spring.
Duke returns home Saturday, Apr. 20 to face Ohio State at 1 p.m. The contest will be broadcast live on the Blue Devil Network.