SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Trailing by four scores with less than 10 minutes to play, the seventh-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team pulled within one but was unable to complete the comeback in a 12-10 loss to No. 11 Notre Dame Friday evening at the Irish’s Arlotta Stadium.
Junior attacker Kerrin Maurer registered three of her five goals inside the final 11 minutes of the contest to fuel the furious comeback attempt by the Blue Devils, who dropped to 8-6 overall and 2-4 in ACC play. Notre Dame moved to 9-5 and 2-4 in league action with the win.
Play went back and forth early in the second half as both teams struggled to possess the ball. Junior midfielder Taylor Trimble broke through for a score with senior Sydney Peterson assisting at 21:39. Trimble found the back of the net again just over four minutes later on a feed from senior Maddy Morrissey to narrow the margin to 8-5.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea and the Duke defense held Notre Dame scoreless for the first 15 minutes and 13 seconds of the period before Cortney Fortunato of the Irish recorded her fifth goal of the game. Sophomore Kelci Smesko countered by putting away an offering from Morrissey to cut it to 9-6 with 11:26 left on the clock. The two squads then rapidly traded goals over the next two minutes, with Maurer securing a hat trick on her third of the evening and Rachel Sexton and Kaitlyn Brosco converting for Notre Dame.
A free position goal by Maurer brought the Blue Devils within three at 11-8 with 7:36 left on the clock. Turnovers plagued both teams over the next several minutes, but Maurer was able to get to the goal again at the 1:40 mark on an assist from Smesko. With pressure mounting, junior Chelsea Landon found Trimble inside for a critical score, as just 19.6 seconds remained.
Duke was unable to stop Notre Dame on the final possession and a goal by Brosco of the Irish with just two seconds to go sealed the 12-10 result.
Notre Dame scored the first two goals of the contest before junior midfielder Erin Tenneson put the Blue Devils on the board at the 24:30 mark. Maurer became the 15th player in Duke history to reach the 100-goal milestone for her career, netting a shot from the eight-meter arc midway through the half to keep it close. However, Notre Dame took off on a five-goal streak to take an 8-2 advantage, with the rookie Fortunato notching three tallies during that span.
Maurer worked her way around the post for an unassisted goal with just over a minute remaining, bringing the score to 8-3 at the break.
For the game, Duke outshot the Irish by a 30-25 margin and held a 15-8 advantage at the draw. The Blue Devils also edged Notre Dame in ground balls, 22-21, but turned the ball over 20 times to 16 turnovers by the Irish.
Maurer’s five tallies lifted her over the 100-goal mark for her career, while the Setauket, N.Y., native also corralled five draw controls. Senior Taylor Virden added four draw controls to go with four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Trimble earned her sixth hat trick of the season and added three wins at the draw.
Duryea finished with eight saves in goal for the Blue Devils and was credited with four ground balls. Allie Murray made nine stops for Notre Dame on the other end.
Duke concludes regular season play in a key ACC contest at North Carolina Wednesday, Apr. 16. That game will begin at 7 p.m. in the Tar Heels’ Kenan Stadium and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.