March 17, 2009

Duke Women Seek First ACC Win

from press release

DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 5 Duke women's lacrosse team (6-2, 0-1) will look to bounce back from last Saturday's loss to Georgetown, as the Blue Devils seek their first ACC victory of the season when they host Virginia Tech tomorrow, March 14, at 5 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.

The Blue Devils were edged, 12-11, to Georgetown Saturday in a game that saw five ties. Duke found itself down 5-3 at the break, before staging a comeback to take a 10-8 lead with just over nine minutes to play. But the Hoyas would get back on top with four straight goals and hold on for the win at Multi-Sport Field in the nation's capital.

Duke had won its last two games before that, defeating Princeton and Vanderbilt last week in a pair of home games. The Blue Devils are 3-2 this season against ranked teams and a perfect 4-0 at home. Duke is 0-1 in the conference following a loss to Maryland in the ACC opener Feb. 28 in College Park, Md.

With eight regular season games played and eight remaining on the schedule, the Blue Devils are paced through the halfway point of the season by junior Lindsay Gilbride and senior Carolyn Davis - each with 25 goals. Davis had added seven assists for 32 points, which ranks fourth in the ACC. The duo's 3.12 goals per game average is good for fifth-best in the conference, while Caroline Cryer's 1.75 assists per game is third in the ACC.

Davis has gone 29 straight games with at least one point, which is the eighth-longest streak in the NCAA. She has also gone 29-in-a-row with a goal, the fourth-longest streak in the country.

Virginia Tech comes to Koskinen Stadium with an overall record of 4-4, including a 1-1 mark in conference play. The Hokies most recently pulled off a 16-14 overtime win over Boston College, with other victories coming against Davidson, George Washington, and George Mason. VT had started off the 2009 season 0-4, but with four-straight wins have evened the ledger halfway through the season.

The Hokies' Rachel Culp has netted 28 goals through eight contests, good for an average of 3.50 goals per game which leads the ACC. Allie Emala (19) and Jessica Nonn (16) have eached netted double-figure goals so far.

Duke has never lost to the ACC rival, with the all-time series standing at 10-0 in favor of the Blue Devils. Last year, Duke won 18-11 on the road in Blacksburg, Va., during the regular-season, before seeing the Hokies again in the first round of the 2008 ACC Tournament, where Duke prevailed, 19-6, in Charlottesville Va. Davis led the Blue Devils with four goals in that game.

After tomorrow night, Duke remains at home to face Canisius in the first-ever meeting between the programs on Friday night at 6 p.m. in Koskinen. The Blue Devils then embark on a three-game road swing, traveling to face nationally-ranked Virginia and the four-time defending national champions Northwestern, followed by Boston College.

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