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Mollie Mackler
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Mollie Mackler
Solid Defense Gives Duke 14-7 Win Over Georgetown
Wednesday 03/10/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. - Duke senior goaltender Mollie Mackler made a season-high 18 saves, while sophomore Maddy Morrissey and senior Amanda Jones both netted hat tricks as the fourth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team dropped No. 15 Georgetown, 14-7, Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.

The Hoyas entered the contest averaging just over 14 goals a game, but the Blue Devils' defense held Georgetown (2-2, 1-0 Big East) to half that mark despite Duke (7-2, 1-0 ACC) trailing in overall shots , 31-23. Georgetown earned 15 free position opportunities, however, Mackler was up to the task, posting 10 of her 18 saves on Hoya free positions.

"I thought [today] was one of the best defensive games we've had so far in terms of just being ready and sliding to body," said Mackler. "We've really focused on being ready and today we executed better than we have been."

Eight different Blue Devils recorded a point with Morrissey also chipping in an assist to lead all scorers with a career-high four points on the day. Jones picked up her second multi-goal game of the season, adding two key scores late in the first half to put Duke up three at the intermission. Freshman Kerrin Maurer and senior Kim Wenger both finished with two goals and an assist, while junior Makenzie Hommel tallied two goals.

"I'm so happy with the outcome of today's game," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "I told the girls that this is as close to a complete game as we've played all season. I thought our kids did a great job this week. We worked really hard on all aspects of our game. We pushed them; they allowed us to push them and you saw the results on the field here today.  I was just really pleased with our defense. Georgetown has a lot of different weapons and they have a lot of different things they like to run and I just thought our defense did a really great job today."

Despite Georgetown winning the opening draw, Duke jumped out to a two-goal lead before the Hoyas scored two of their own to tie the game halfway through the first period. The Blue Devils went up 4-2, but again Georgetown had the answer with back-to-back goals from Kelyn Freedman and Hannah Franklin.

Redshirt senior Emma Hamm, who finished with five draw controls, won a key possession for the Blue Devils on the ensuing draw, resulting in a fast break goal from Jones seven seconds later. Duke wasted little time striking again with Wenger firing a high post shot past the Hoya goalie 13 seconds later to put the Blue Devils up by two late in the first half.

Duke capitalized on a Georgetown yellow card with 27 seconds remaining in the period as Jones converted the man-up goal, assisted by freshman Chelsea Landon, to put the Blue Devils on top 7-4 heading into the intermission.

The Blue Devils' momentum carried over into the second half with Maurer scoring her 15th goal of the season on Duke's first possession of the period, giving the Blue Devils a four-goal advantage.

"Looking at that stretch, we had a great goal from Amanda [Jones]," added Kimel. " [Kim] Wenger had a great take to goal. Her challenge to cage was spot on and it was right after Amanda had scored, which was great. I thought [Kerrin] Maurer ... really even to start the second half ... I thought she had a great goal. That's an offense we have and Georgetown really read it and slid to her really well. She threw a nice fake and stuck the ball, so it was awesome. I was really pleased overall with everything we did on the field today."

Georgetown cut the lead to 8-5, but Duke proceeded to score four unanswered, culminating with freshman Taylor Trimble's free position goal with 11:44 to play, to take a 12-5 lead late in the game. The Blue Devils closed out the contest on a 2-1 note to come away with their third victory against a ranked opponent this season.

On the day, the Blue Devils won the draw control battle 13-9 with Wenger and Hamm combing for 11 draw controls. Duke converted on 3-of-4 free position chances, while holding Georgetown to 2-of-15 on free positions.

"I think a lot of that's Mollie [Mackler," said Kimel. "She did a good job today of holding and making sure she saw the ball. I thought our kids were aggressive off the mark. Georgetown wasn't getting completely wide open looks off the free position. Our girls were really prepared to play Georgetown. By being aggressive both on and off the ball, we were able to disrupt their rhythm which was our game plan."

The Blue Devils will have two games on the road this coming week as Duke travels to Blacksburg, Va., for an ACC match against Virginia Tech Wednesday, March 14 and to Hanover, N.H., for a game against No. 16 Dartmouth Saturday, March 17.

-d-u-k-e-


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