DURHAM, N.C. - The fifth-seeded Duke women's lacrosse team is set to face top-seeded Maryland Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m., in the NCAA Tournament semifinals at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. The victor in Friday's semifinal will advance to the national championship game, scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, to face the winner of the No. 2 Northwestern and No. 3 North Carolina semifinal matchup.
The Blue Devils defeated Penn and No. 4 seed Florida to advance to the championship weekend and enter Friday with a 15-4 (4-1 ACC) record. Maryland, the ACC regular season and tournament champion, sits at 20-1 (5-0 ACC) on the year and advanced to the semifinals with wins over Navy and No. 12 seed Princeton.
Last Time Out
• After watching its three-goal lead evaporate early in the second half, Duke closed the game with a 5-0 run to earn a 13-9 victory over No. 4 Florida Saturday, May 21 from Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
• The two teams were evenly matched with Florida holding the slight edge in total shots, 23-21.
• Duke earned the advantage on the draw, 13-11, including an 8-2 lead in the first half which allowed the Blue Devils to take a 6-3 lead into halftime.
• Kat Thomas turned in a solid, all-around performance with three goals, an assist and four draw controls.
• Sarah Bullard also netted a hat trick in the game, while Tewaaraton finalist Emma Hamm added two goals, an assist, two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
• Christie Kaestner totaled four points on two goals and two assists, bringing her team-leading total to 45 assists in 2011, a Duke single-season record.
• Duke and Maryland will meet for the second time this season and the 22nd time overall on Friday.
• The Terps hold the advantage in the all-time series, 13-8, including a win over the Blue Devils earlier this year in College Park.
• Maryland won the only meeting between the two squads this season, 18-11, on Feb. 28, 2011.
• The Terps also emerged victorious in the two teams’ only meeting in 2010, a 17-4 decision, in Durham, N.C.
• Duke and Maryland have split the last 10 decisions, 5-5, however the Terps have defeated the Blue Devils in four consecutive contests.
• The Blue Devils' last win over Maryland came in the two teams’ first and only meeting in the NCAA Tournament as Duke left College Park with a 9-7 victory on May 17, 2008 to advance to the national semifinals.
Scouting the Blue Devils
• Duke boasts a balanced attack, which ranks second in the conference and seventh in the nation in scoring offense (14.21 gpg).
• Tops on the team in points is All-ACC selection and Tewaaraton nominee Christie Kaestner (32g, 45a, 77p), who also leads the team and the ACC in assists per game (2.37 apg).
• After missing the 2010 season due to injury, Emma Hamm, a 2011 Tewaaraton finalist and All-ACC pick, has returned this year to lead Duke in both goals (47) and draw controls (65).
• Duke’s midfield also contains two more All-ACC picks in Kat Thomas (45g, 59dc) and Kim Wenger (16g, 19a).
• The Blue Devils’ young defensive unit has developed as the season progressed and currently leads the ACC in caused turnovers per game (9.26 ctpg) and draw controls per game (14.63 dcpg).
• Goaltender Mollie Mackler has started every game this season after missing the final 13 contests of the 2010 campaign due to injury. She leads the conference with 147 saves and 42 ground balls this season, while also registering a .444 save percentage.
Scouting the Terrapins
• Top-ranked Maryland is making its 22nd straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive trip to the national semifinals in 2011.
• The Terps’ offense, which leads the ACC with an average of 15.05 goals per game, is led by a pair of Tewaaraton finalists in senior Sarah Mollison (52g, 45a) and sophomore Katie Schwarzman (60g, 13a).
• Maryland leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 6.67 goals per game this season.
• Maryland also had a league-high six players named All-ACC in 2011 as Katie Gallagher, Karri Ellen Johnson and Laura Merrifield joined Mollison and Schwarzman on the squad.
Duke in the NCAA Tournament
• This season marks Duke’s 14th consecutive trip to the tournament as the Blue Devils are 16-13 (.552) all-time in NCAA Championship play.
• The Blue Devils are one of six teams with consecutive NCAA appearance streaks of five or more years, joining top-seeded Maryland (22, 1990-2011), third-seeded North Carolina (7, 2005-11), second-seeded Northwestern (8, 2004-11), Virginia (16, 1996-2011) and Penn (5, 2007-11).
• The Blue Devils advanced to the national semifinals for the sixth time in program history in 2011.
• Duke is in search of its first appearance in the NCAA finals as the Blue Devils are 0-5 all-time in semifinal action.
• Of the 16 teams in the 2011 tournament, Duke faced eight during the 2011 regular season, posting a 5-4 record against tournament teams.
Hamm Named Tewaaraton Finalist
• Redshirt junior Emma Hamm was named one of five finalists for the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top men’s and women’s lacrosse player.
• The Wayne, Pa., native is the fifth Tewaaraton finalist in Duke women’s lacrosse history, joining Kate Kaiser (2001), Katie Chrest (2005 & 2006), Caroline Cryer (2007) and Carolyn Davis (2009).
• Katie Chrest is the only Blue Devil to bring home the award, earning the honor in 2005.
• Injury forced Hamm to miss the 2010 season, but she returned in 2011 to set career highs in goals (48), assists (25), points (73) and draw controls (65).
• Duke’s leader in goals and draw controls, Hamm captured All-ACC honors for the second time in her career while registering three or more goals in 10 contests this season and recording eight games with at least five points.
• A three-year starter with the Blue Devils, she holds the Duke record with 171 career draw controls and ranks second in the school record books with 65 career assists.
Wenger Named Love Unsung Hero Award Winner
• Junior Kim Wenger has been named the inaugural recipient of the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes a male and female student-athlete who serve as leaders and help their teams succeed in ways that don’t normally garner attention.
• The award is named in the memory of Virginia’s Yeardley Love, who was known for her leadership and strength of character.
• In 2011, Wenger earned All-ACC honors after setting career highs in goals (16), assists (19) and draw controls (29).
vs. Ranked Opponents
• Friday’s game marks the Blue Devils’ 14th against a ranked opponent in the 2011 season.
• The Blue Devils are 9-4 against ranked opposition this season with all four of their losses coming against top-10 teams -- No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 Northwestern, No. 4 North Carolina and No. 10 Penn.
• Duke is 94-60 (.610) all-time against ranked opponents.
• The Blue Devils are 29-27 (.518) against ACC teams ranked in the top-20 and boast a 65-33 (.663) mark when facing a ranked non-conference opponent.
• This season, the Blue Devils posted a 7-0 record at home against teams ranked in the top-20.
• Prior to Duke’s loss at No. 10 Penn on Apr. 29, the Blue Devils had not lost to an opponent ranked lower than No. 5 in the nation since falling to No. 8 Georgetown on March 14, 2009.
• On March 16, 2011, Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel registered her 200th career win with Duke’s 18-8 victory over Virginia Tech at Koskinen Stadium.
• Duke’s head coach is also one of just eight active DI coaches with 200 or more career wins.
• Over 16 seasons as a head coach, Kimel has recorded 208 wins to just 104 losses.
• Kimel has served as the Blue Devils’ head coach since the program’s inception in 1996, amassing a 204-96 record at Duke.
• Kimel was the head coach at Davidson for one season prior to arriving in Durham, leading the Wildcats to a 4-8 ledger.
Kaestner Helping Out
• Senior All-ACC pick Christie Kaestner leads the team with 45 assists this season, setting the Duke single-season record.
• Kaestner broke the previous record of 44, set by Kristen Waagbo in 2007, in the Blue Devils’ NCAA quarterfinal win over Florida.
• Kaestner is one of just six players in Duke history to break the 30-assist plateau in a single season.
• She is the only Blue Devil in program history to record 30+ assists in two consecutive seasons.
• The Trappe, Md., native leads the conference, averaging 2.37 assists per game, which is also the fourth-best clip in the nation.
• Kaestner is currently in second place in the Duke record books with 96 career assists.
• Kaestner was also tops on the team in 2010, recording 39 assists, the third highest single-season total in Duke history.
• The Blue Devils rank first in the ACC and seventh in the nation in draw controls, averaging 14.72 per game.
• Through 18 games, redshirt junior Emma Hamm and junior Kat Thomas have registered 65 and 59 draw controls, respectively.
• Both players rank in the top-25 in the country in draw controls per game with Hamm ranking 15th (3.42 dcpg) and Thomas 22nd (3.11 dcpg).
• Hamm holds the Duke record with 171 career draw controls, while Thomas ranks fifth in the school record books (146 dc).
• Hamm and Thomas, along with Caroline Cryer (‘09) are the only Blue Devils to register 50+ draw controls in multiple seasons during their careers.
• In addition, Hamm is the only player in Duke history to win 50 or more draw controls in three consecutive seasons.
• The pair has also provided a spark on offense, combining for 17 goals and three assists on the season.
• Virden, who was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week on Mar. 29, currently ranks third on the team in draw controls (39), fourth on the squad in both ground balls (25) and fourth in caused turnovers (18).
• Quirke has also reached double figures in ground balls (18) and caused turnovers (14), while registering 12 draw controls.
• In addition, rookie Maddy Morrissey has played key minutes for the Blue Devils, chipping in five goals, two assists and 14 ground balls.