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Courtesy: George Jennison
Women’s Lacrosse Begins 2014 Campaign Friday
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/06/2014
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Game 1
No. 6 Duke vs. Elon
Friday, Feb. 7 l 3 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Koskinen Stadium 

Game 2
No. 6 Duke vs. Louisville
Sunday, Feb. 9 l 1 p.m.
Durham, N.C. l Koskinen Stadium

Elon Live Video l Louisville Live Video l Live Stats l Twitter 

DURHAM, N.C. – The sixth-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse program officially opens the 2014 campaign Friday, Feb. 7 when it welcomes in-state opponent and first-year program Elon to Koskinen Stadium at 3 p.m. … The Blue Devils will also host Louisville Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m.

Elon Series History
Friday’s season opener marks the first meeting between Duke and first-year program Elon ... The Phoenix are coached by Josh Hexter, who served as an assistant coach under Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel from 2005-09 before being promoted to the Blue Devils’ associate head coach in 2010 ... Hexter is assisted at Elon by former Duke standout Virginia Crotty (‘11), a two-year starter at attack who ranks among the Blue Devils’ all-time leaders in assists. 

Scouting the Phoenix
Elon enters its inaugural season facing a tough slate ... The squad’s non-conference schedule includes a trip to Chapel Hill to face reigning NCAA champion North Carolina March 12, as well as a contest at ACC program Virginia Tech Feb. 23 ... The Phoenix were tabbed fifth in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches poll, with freshmen Molly Garrigan and Sydney Hesselbein earning spots on the conference’s Newcomer Watch List.

Louisville Series History
Duke will face the Cardinals for the first time in program history Sunday afternoon ... Louisville will join the ACC for the 2015 season.

Scouting the Cardinals
Louisville returns nine starters and three All-BIG EAST selections from last year’s 11-6 team ... The Cardinals were picked to finish third in the conference’s preseason coaches poll, with senior defender Monica Negron, senior attacker Nikki Boltja and sophomore midfielder Kaylin Morissette all named to the preseason All-BIG EAST team ... Boltja paced the Cardinals’ offense in 2013, totaling 74 points on 63 goals and 11 assists ... Morissette amassed 45 points as a rookie last season while Negon recorded a team-high 23 caused turnovers and 31 ground balls.

Scouting the Blue Devils
Duke begins the 2014 campaign ranked sixth in the nation after going 14-6 (2-3 ACC) and reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals a year ago ... The Blue Devils were one of seven ACC schools ranked in the preseason IWLCA poll ... Head coach Kerstin Kimel’s squad returns 22 letterwinners and nine starters this spring, including 2013 IWLCA All-Americans Kelsey Duryea and Taylor Virden on defense ... Duryea and Virden also join attacker Kerrin Maurer and midfielder Taylor Trimble as the team’s returning All-ACC selections ... Duryea is coming off of an impressive rookie campaign between the pipes, as she ranked fourth nationally in save percentage and led the ACC in saves per game, save percentage and ground balls per game in 2013 ... Virden ranked second on the team in caused turnovers a year ago and paced the squad in draw controls … Maurer returns to quarterback the offense after leading Duke in points and assists last year … Trimble returns to the midfield after ranking second on the team in goals and draw controls as a sophomore last season.

Duke Picked to Finish Fourth in ACC
The ACC released its preseason poll Tuesday, Feb. 4, with the Blue Devils projected to finish fourth in the conference by a vote of the league’s eight head coaches ... 2013 NCAA champion North Carolina was tabbed the preseason favorite while Maryland, last year’s ACC champion and NCAA runner-up, was voted second and conference newcomer Syracuse third ... Senior defender Taylor Virden and sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea were among 11 returning All-Americans to be named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.

Season Openers
Duke is 17-1 all-time in season openers and 16-2 in home openers ... The Blue Devils have won 13 consecutive home openers coming into the 2014 season ... The program’s last home-opening loss came against Maryland, 14-10, on March 3, 2000.

Scheduling the Best
The Blue Devils’ 2014 slate features eight teams ranked in the top 20 of the preseason IWLCA Coaches Poll, with three other opponents also receiving votes in the initial poll … Duke is set to face nine of the teams selected to the 2013 NCAA Tournament field, including all four national semifinalists from a year ago.

In the Month of February
Duke has played 47 games all-time in the second month of the year, playing to a 41-6 record … The Blue Devils last lost a February contest in 2013 against Maryland in College Park.

Preseason All-America
Four Blue Devils were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America teams ... 2013 All-Americans Kelsey Duryea and Taylor Virden were named to the first team while junior Taylor Trimble earned a spot on the second team and classmates Kerrin Maurer and Gabby Moise were selected to the third team.

Starters Lost
Duke lost nine letterwinners and three starters from last year’s squad that reached the NCAA Quarterfinals … The departures include defensive mainstays Mie Graham and Lauren Martin, as well as leading scorer Makenzie Hommel, who accounted for 44 goals and 10 assists in 2013 … Hommel closed her career ranked 19th in program history with 116 points over four seasons … The Blue Devils must also replace draw control specialist Maddie Salamone, who totaled 51 draws to go with 23 goals and three assists during her career.  

Seniors Molly Quirke, Emma Tucci and Taylor Virden will serve as the team captains for the 2014 season.

Welcome to Duke
The Blue Devils’ class of 2017 is comprised of 10 freshmen from four states and includes Casey Black, Helen Cammerzell, Caitlin Carey, Stuart Humphrey, Isabelle Montagne, Kitty Morrissey, Devon Russell, Paige Russell, Maura Schwitter and Hayley Shaffer … The group was tabbed the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation by Inside Lacrosse … Senior goalkeeper Katherine Fraile also joined the Duke program this fall, transferring from Bucknell.