PHILADELPHIA – Trailing by just two scores at the intermission, the 16th-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team was unable to contain No. 12 Penn in the second half, falling to the Quakers by a 16-6 score Saturday at Franklin Field. The Blue Devils dropped to 5-4 on the season with the non-conference loss.
“At this point in the season, I think we have to evaluate what we’re doing,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “Their goalie was really good – there was nothing easy for us today and that’s a credit to Penn and that kid in the goal cage. We have to do serious evaluation of what we’re running and if we need to make some changes schematically or personnel-wise to be more productive.”
The Quakers struck first to open the contest, but Duke swung the score to 4-2 in its favor 12 minutes in behind two markers each from Fallon and Shaffer. Penn countered with a three-goal spurt before the defenses took control, forcing turnovers on both sides.
Following a 12-minute scoring drought, the Quakers broke through on Alex Condon’s second tally, sending the Blue Devils into the locker room at the half down, 6-4.
Penn rattled off four straight tallies to start the second period, including three by Caroline Cummings, that made the score 10-4. Duke broke through at the 18:33 mark on a free position goal by freshman Catherine Cordrey, but the Quakers responded with another run. Sophomore Jamie Lockwood and freshman Gabbe Cadoux shared time in the net for the Blue Devils in the second half, and despite some strong defensive sequences, were unable to keep Penn’s attack quiet for long.
“There was a combination of things,” Kimel said. “Their offense is really good. We did a good job of shutting off some of their players, and some other kids, we let them really have a day. I think that we didn’t necessarily do a good job of adjusting in the game to some of their two-man play, where we needed to send help earlier and we didn’t … We had a few too many people have some not so good days, and that’s tough. I do think our defense played really hard and they gave us possessions and the opportunity to have the ball.”
Natalie Stefan of the Quakers converted at the eight-meter mark with 8:14 to play, widening the margin to 15-5. Junior Kyra Harney netted a free position goal of her own inside the final seven minutes, but Penn added one more tally to account for the final score.
The Quakers rounded out the day with a 29-23 advantage in shots after outscoring Duke 10-2 over the final 30 minutes. Penn also held the edge in ground balls, 17-15, while the Blue Devils claimed the draw by a 14-10 margin. Both teams committed 19 turnovers each for the contest.
Cummings had a game-high five tallies for the Quakers, while teammates Emily Rogers-Healion and Stefan finished with four each. Rogers-Healion also totaled three assists. Britt Brown posted a solid day in goal for the Quakers, notching 11 saves.
The Blue Devils return to ACC play next weekend, visiting Virginia Saturday, March 25 for a 1 p.m. contest at the Cavaliers’ Klöckner Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.