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.
Hello Duke Lacrosse Fans!
I am extremely sorry for the delay in blog posts. I don’t have an excuse, other than the fact our team has been studying hard for exams and getting geared up for the postseason. We finished up our last regular season game on Sunday against Boston University. It was an amazing day for lacrosse, and an even better way to celebrate our seniors!
Side story… I had a dream the other night. It was more of a nightmare, because I dreamt that I was playing for another team. I wasn’t playing for Duke. I wasn’t wearing my usual colors, and I wasn’t cheering for my teammates. I woke up in a panic thinking that my world had just ended. Luckily the nightmare only lasted for nine minutes of my life, but still—I was scared.
Anyways, against BU our team came out to play. We knew that this might be our last game in Koskinen and that was just the motivation we needed to make a statement before the tournament and honor our eight special seniors. Freshman Kelci Smesko had a career-high performance as she led the team with four goals, and sophomore Kerrin Maurer also had a few beautiful goals to help cap off our victory. Defenders Gabby Moise and Lauren Martin also had excellent performances that limited BU’s attacking momentum. We also saw some of our younger players stepping up all over the field, which helped propel our presence and intensity throughout the game. The win over BU was a complete team effort. It was the performance we needed to give us the burst of energy and confidence we need for the NCAA Tournament.
Later that night, we all gathered in the team room for a pizza party and the NCAA Selection Show. We were anxious top see our NCAA Tournament seeding and path. Our coaches kept telling us to be ready for anything, and I think that our team handled the uncertainty with poise and composure.
However, despite our predictions, we are in an extremely good place for the tournament. Our draw has us lined up against Princeton on Friday night in Annapolis, Md. The announcers called this game “an intellectual matchup,” which we all got a kick out of. A win against Princeton would then have us playing on Sunday against the winner of Navy vs. Monmouth. I know a bunch of us have never been to Navy’s campus, and we are excited to get to play in such a historic place.
Despite having to leave Durham, our team is just thankful to be competing in the tournament! I have a good feeling about our matchup—the “Diables-bleus” are ready to rock! Excuse my French, but we recently just watched a short clip on the history of the Blue Devils, so if you get a minute please check it out! The “Diables-bleus” were some of the toughest French soldiers and were notorious for their gritty, relentless fighting style. They defied odds, battling in the wilderness, and extreme cold weather conditions. After three years, I never knew the origins of our mascot. It was the perfect time to learn about what the “Blue Devil” nickname stands for. We will use the tactics of the "Blue Devil" soliders to battle against our competition. The grit, toughness and relentless force of the "Blue Devil" are exactly what our team has stood for this entire season.
I am also anxious to see how we compete on the NCAA Tournament stage. Our practices this week have been efficient, full of high energy and competitive. We have two special visitors this week as well - former Blue Devils Sarah Bullard and Meg Huether - who are both practicing for the USA Lacrosse World Cup this upcoming summer. It has been awesome to have former teammates out there on the field with us. Anytime Meg comes to visit, my shooting percentage plummets drastically. And Sarah Bullard has not lost a beat since she graduated. I can’t wait to see how they compete for Team USA this summer!
The end of the school year has been a time of togetherness and reflection. We have competed hard all season. Despite injuries leaving some of our top players off of the field, this team is ready to compete for the national championship. What is great about the postseason is that everyone starts off with a clean slate—the records are 0-0, and wins and losses are now just memories. With the regular season in the books, now we can focus on the journey ahead. Our team is loaded with Philly girls, and I know they would love to travel home for the Final Four. Maybe we can get some cheesesteak sandwiches, Coach Kerstin. But hey, we have to take one game at a time. Please follow our road to Championship weekend as we begin the tournament this Friday against Princeton at 7:15 pm!
With love from your Diables-bleus,