COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Blue Devils scored the first eight goals of the game and never looked back as the fourth-seeded Duke women's lacrosse team defeated No. 5 seed Boston College, 17-6, in the opening game of the 2010 ACC Women's Lacrosse Championships, held at Ludwig Field on the campus of the University of Maryland.
Eight different Blue Devils netted goals in the match as Sarah Bullard, one of four Duke players to net three or more goals on the afternoon, led the way with four scores in the win; Christie Kaestner, Virginia Crotty and Kat Thomas all had three goals each for Duke.
With the victory, Duke improves to 12-4 (2-3 ACC) and will play top-seeded North Carolina (13-1, 4-1 ACC) in the conference tournament semifinals. The loss drops the Eagles to 10-5 (1-5 ACC).
"I'm really pleased that we came out and played well right out of the gate," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "Boston College is a great team. I don't think we handled their game very well the first time we played them, but we executed our game very, very well today."
Thomas started off the scoring with an unassisted goal slightly over a minute into the match and the Duke offense did not let up the rest of the way. Thomas, Duke's third leading scorer on the season, netted her fourth consecutive hat trick with three goals on the day.
Duke added three more goals, one each from Lindsay Gilbride, Bullard and Thomas, in a four-minute span before Kaestner tallied back-to-back goals to put the Blue Devils up 6-0 ten minutes in. Kaestner, the Devils' points leader this season, totaled a game-high five points on three goals and two assists.
Crotty netted Duke's seventh score and Bullard tacked on the eighth in Duke's 8-0 run to start the game. Boston College got on the board on a Brooke Blue tally with 8:22 remaining in the first half, but the Devils would enter halftime with a commanding 8-1 margin.
The Eagles opened the second frame with their second goal of the game, but Duke proceeded to go on another tear, outscoring Boston College 7-0, thanks to goals from Danielle Kachulis, Amanda Jones Crotty, Kaestner and Bullard, over the next 17 minutes.
The Eagles outscore the Blue Devils 4-2 over the final eight minutes of game time, but the late-game effort was not enough as Duke captured the 17-6 win.
Freshman goalie Kaitlin Gaiss totaled four saves while playing all 60 minutes for the win.
The Blue Devils take on North Carolina tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in the first of two semifinal games. The Tar Heels defeated Duke, 9-6, in the two teams' regular season meeting last Wednesday.
Both of tomorrow's semifinal games will be video-streamed live on ACC Select, accessible through the ACC.com.