BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea posted 13 saves and the Duke defense held Virginia Tech to a season-low scoring output Sunday in a 14-6 victory over the Hokies at Thompson Field.
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils improved to 4-3 overall while collecting their first ACC win of the 2014 season. Virginia Tech dropped to 3-3 (0-2 ACC) with the loss.
“I’m really proud of our defense,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We were able to really disrupt Virginia Tech in their rhythm. Once we did that, it gave us even more confidence to be more aggressive, take bigger risks and really give Kelsey [Duryea] a chance to make saves.”
Seven different Duke players registered goals on the day with junior Kerrin Maurer and senior Sydney Peterson each earning hat tricks. Maurer led all scorers with five points on four goals and one assist while senior Maddy Morrissey and junior Taylor Trimble also contributed multiple tallies.
Coming off of a four-goal performance Wednesday against Georgetown, sophomore Kelci Smesko put Duke on the board within the first minute Sunday afternoon. Maurer reached the 20-goal mark for the season a short while later, converting on a quick pass from midfielder Katie Trees on the eight-meter to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 advantage at 20:57.
Duryea contributed strong play in the net, logging three early saves on Virginia Tech free position opportunities. The Hokies’ Julia Heaps was able to break in for a score around the 17-minute mark but Duke responded with goals by junior Brigid Smith and Maurer to take a 4-1 lead into the break.
The two teams were even in shots (11-11) at halftime while the Blue Devils held a 4-2 advantage at the draw. Duke forced Virginia Tech into nine turnovers during the first period but committed 10 of its own.
After Duryea opened the second half with her eighth save of the contest, the Blue Devils utilized a long offensive possession to extend their lead to four on a marker by sophomore Maddy Acton. Maurer completed her third hat trick of the year and Morrissey added a free position goal at the 16:22 mark before Smith found Peterson inside for Duke’s sixth-straight unanswered score.
The Hokies put together a short scoring burst with 12 minutes remaining as Megan Will and Meg Bartley recorded back-to-back goals. However Peterson countered for the Blue Devils with two of her own and Trimble netted a pass from Maurer to bring the score to 11-3.
The final five minutes saw the teams combine for six more goals as Virginia Tech picked up two quick tallies and Maurer, Morrissey and Trimble scored for Duke. The Hokies’ Heaps notched one final tally with 40 seconds remaining to bring the final score to 14-6.
The Blue Devils outshot Virginia Tech by a 31-24 margin and won the draw controls category, 14-8, with Maurer and senior defender Taylor Virden winning four draws apiece.
“Defensively, we played great,” Kimel said. “I thought we were really excellent on the draw. But more than anything I’m really happy with the heart and the hustle that we showed today. That afforded us the chance to win by a good margin and get a lot of goals on the board. That will give us really good momentum.”
Duryea had a career-high five ground balls to go with the 13 saves and two caused turnovers while Meagh Graham totaled eight stops in goal for the Hokies.
Duke returns home Thursday, March 13 to host non-conference opponent Davidson in a 6 p.m contest at Koskinen Stadium.#GoDuke