DURHAM, N.C. - Despite a slow start, the sixth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team utilized a 12-1 run to down High Point 16-7 Wednesday evening at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils improve to 10-5 (3-2 ACC) with the win, while High Point drops to 8-3 (2-0 NLC) on the year.
Duke dominated the draw, 19-6, and outshot High Point, 33-14. The Blue Devils allowed four goals in the first 12 minutes, but the defense clamped down the rest of the way, holding the Panthers to just three goals in the remaining 42 minutes of play.
"At the beginning of the game, we had a couple of tough calls and that gave them early goals," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "We had really open looks and just weren't sticking our shots. Once we did that, we were able to get in a groove and take better care of the ball. I love the fact that we were able to play a lot of people tonight and we were able to generate a lot of really good looks and we did a great job in the second half defensively."
Senior Kim Wenger led all scorers with four points on three goals and an assist, and freshman Kerrin Maurer netted the third hat trick of her young career to pace the Duke offense. Redshirt senior Emma Hamm added two goals and an assist in addition to five draw controls. With her performance tonight, Hamm has set the school single season draw control record (75), topping her own mark of 70 from a year ago.
The Blue Devils got off to a slow start to open the game as High Point netted the contest's first goal just over two minutes in. Maurer responded to make it a 1-1 game 20 seconds later, but back-to-back Panther scores put High Point up 3-1 early in the first half. Hamm scored her first goal of the game with 19:32 left in the opening period before HPU answered on an unassisted goal from Christie Dougherty.
Trailing 4-3 midway through the first half, the Duke offense came to life with a 4-0 spurt that kick started a 12-1 run covering nearly 36 minutes. High Point scored with 27 seconds left in the first half to cut Duke's lead to 6-5, but the Blue Devils' defense would keep the Panthers off the scoreboard for the next 21 minutes. Sophomore Maddy Morrissey added the second of her two goals with 14 seconds to go to give Duke a 7-5 advantage at the intermission.
Duke opened the second frame with seven straight goals to end a potential Panther threat and led 14-5 with 11:49 to play. The two teams traded two goals each with freshman Brigid Smith registering the last two goals for the Blue Devils.
Freshman Gabby Moise turned in a strong performance on defense with four caused turnovers and two ground balls as Duke held its 11th opponent of the season to single digit scoring.
The Blue Devils must next prepare for ACC Tournament competition as Duke will serve as the host for the 2012 championship. The conference tournament is slated for Friday-Monday, April 20-23 from Duke's Koskinen Stadium.