DURHAM, N.C. – Balanced scoring and a stalwart defensive effort guided the 10th-ranked Blue Devils to a 21-2 victory over Davidson Thursday evening in non-conference action at Koskinen Stadium. The win moved Duke to 5-3 on the season heading into a meeting with Jacksonville Sunday, March 16 at 12 p.m. in Durham.
Nine different Blue Devils tallied goals against the Wildcats, with senior Maddy Morrissey, juniors Kerrin Maurer, Katie Trees and Taylor Trimble and sophomore Kelci Smesko all posting hat tricks. Defensively, Duke limited Davidson to just two goals on six shots, with the two scores marking a season-low output by a Blue Devil opponent.
“I was really happy that we had so many people contribute,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “Our team played really unselfishly tonight. I thought we did a great job in all aspects of the game. That was our goal tonight – to come out and have a really clean performance.”
Morrissey led off the scoring 20 seconds into the contest, successfully converting from the eight-meter mark to give Duke the early advantage. After the Wildcats’ Mary Leonard responded with a goal, the Blue Devils took off on a 9-0 run to take a 10-1 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Smesko opened the second half with an unassisted tally to extend the scoring streak before Davidson’s Erin Doherty worked her way inside to cut the lead back to nine. However, the Duke defense allowed only two more shots by the Wildcats the rest of the way. The Blue Devils continued to dominate at the draw and finished the game on a 10-0 scoring run to seal the victory.
“Our defense has been a work in progress every game,” said senior Taylor Virden. “As a unit we’re gaining more chemistry and we know how to move with each other. It’s just a testament to how we’re progressing throughout the season.”
For the contest, Duke outshot the Wildcats 36-6 and won the ground ball battle, 12-8. Virden won five draw controls and Maurer added three to help the Blue Devils earn the edge in that category by an 18-6 margin. Duke also went a perfect 13-of-13 in clearing attempts on the evening.
Trees registered a career-high with her three goals while Morrissey also tallied three to match a career-best output. Junior Brigid Smith and sophomore Maddy Acton contributed two markers each and junior Chelsea Landon and freshman Caitlin Carey rounded out the scoring with one apiece.
The Blue Devils continue their homestand Sunday against Jacksonville, with the game slated to be broadcast live on Blue Devil Network.