Duke junior Emma Tucci will be blogging throughout the 2012-13 season, giving Duke fans an inside look at life on the Blue Devil women's lacrosse team. Look for Emma's blog all year on GoDuke.com.
Welcome, welcome, welcome!
I've missed you all ... I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, but we have just been so busy down here in Durham! Lots of exciting events and announcements, so please continue reading. I know the suspense is killing you...
First, we recently came to the end of our fall ball tournament schedule over Duke's parents' weekend. Every year we host the Duke Fall Invitational during the last weekend of October. We have a list of competitive teams and the games are always fast-paced and full of Duke lacrosse dominance. After a few minor adjustments in the schedules due to weather, we played in six scrimmages over the course of the weekend. On Saturday we matched up against High Point, UNC and Richmond. Sunday we played Notre Dame, Florida and James Madison. Overall, the weekend was a huge success for our team. We implemented new offensive plays and continued to work on various defensive sets. It was great to see our loyal family members coming down to show us support, despite the looming hurricane Sandy. Luckily, no one was stuck in Durham and all of our parents got home safely. Seriously ... I was not expecting the severity of Sandy. She was extremely ruthless. I'm thinking of everyone up North! My mom was sending me pictures throughout the storm, and it looked like a war zone.
Aside from extreme weather, down in Durham our team was facing a different kind of storm: extreme running and lifting. I think it's safe to say that [sports performance coach Jeff] Howser only becomes more difficult as you get older - freshmen, beware. However, we all continued to motivate one another and yelled some of our favorite expressions to battle the storm. Our new favorite happens to be a song, introduced by Kerrin Maurer, called "Don't Drop that thun thun thun." Where this girl finds these songs is beyond me, but this beat in particular has caught on quickly. On another lyrical note, we officially now have MUSIC in the weight room! I don't think I have ever seen Angel Thompson smile as big as she did when we heard the soothing voices of Beyonce and Pitbull. If we continue staying focused during our workouts, I think the music is here for good.
This past week we had two major milestone events of the year: Halloween and Blue/White new member initiation. Halloween was hosted at Coach Kimel's house. She made her famous chicken chili, which never disappoints. Each grade's costumes were also extremely entertaining and creative. I'm going to forewarn you now that I'm a little bitter about the competition results ... Let's start with the youngsters: the freshmen. Their theme was Nickelodeon characters. I was actually very impressed with the effort and costumes. Typically freshmen don't realize how important this event is on our team, and show up in store bought costumes (cough cough my class) but this year, the freshmen hand-made a lot of their items. Jordan McCarthy looked excellent as Arnold from the show "Hey Arnold", and totally rocked the football head. Emma Lazaroff and Kaki Jennison were an impeccable CatDog. Great looks all around! Now for the sophomores, cue the bitterness: These clowns dressed up as famous male and female rap/hip-hop artists. We had everyone from Nicki Minaj to Flavor Flav. Gabby Moise absolutely nailed it on that one. Taylor Trimble could also pass as Eminem, but I hear she needs to work on her vocals. Apparently the introduction included a walk out song of each artist, alongside a vocal performance. Kerstin said that the introduction was the icing on top of their victory cake (I don't buy it). But hey, you win some, you lose some.
Next up were the reigning champions: the juniors. We decided to get super original and bring back an old school classic: "The Little Rascals." Honestly, it could pass as being one of my favorite movies. I want Buckwheat to be my best friend. We had the whole crew walk into Kerstin's and performed a skit. Maddy Morrissey was Alfalfa, Sophia Sourlis was sassy Darla, Tara Stokes was Porky, Taylor Virden was Buckwheat, Molly Quirke was Froggy, I was the eight-year-old bully and Sydney Peterson was Spanky. I swear we all could have passed as little boys. We came in second place, which I guess I can live with ... If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend watching it otaaayyy!
Lastly, the seniors got super super creative and came as "What we would be without Duke Lacrosse." We had a yoga instructor, hail stylist, weather reporter, hipster, goth, "Twi-hard" (obsessed with vampires and the "Twilight" series), a gospel singer and a manicurist. The costumes were extremely well done, and I loved the theme! Caroline Keating is actually a scary goth, and Alyssa Ogle would do anything to meet Robert Pattinson. Also, aside from the team, our coaches dressed up as well! Coach Kimel was a witch, and our two assistants were the "Gangnam style" artists. They performed the dance and looked fabulous in their bright colored suits!
To finish off a great week of competitions, on Friday we announced the newest members to the Blue/White teams. The freshmen were drafted by returning members and I have a good feeling about this year's White Team squad. Because the Blue team lost more seniors, they received five selections. Kelsey Duryea, Emma Lazaroff, Jordan McCarthy, Claire Scarrone and Kaki Jennison were all drafted as new members of the Blue squad. The white team picked up Maddy Acton and Kelci Smekso. I see bright futures for these two studs.
After distributing super fly new t-shirts to the team, we kicked off practice with the first official Blue/White competition ... and probably our favorite game: dodge ball. It was intense, it was competitive and it also ended with the white team dominating. That's what I call a statement win. Stay tuned for more fun games and color war challengers throughout the rest of our fall season! Until next time...
Sophomore swag, severe storms and some serious competitions,-Ocho