March 18, 2009

Duke Blanks Virginia Tech in First Half, Cruises

from press release

DURHAM, N.C. - The fifth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team held ACC rival Virginia Tech scoreless in the first half, on its way to a 21-3 rout of the Hokies Wednesday night at Koskinen Stadium. Duke was led by Carolyn Davis, as the senior poured in four of her game-high five goals in the first half.

The Blue Devils improved to 7-2, and 1-1 in ACC play, while Virginia Tech drops to 4-5 (1-2). Duke was able to rebound from last Saturday's tough 12-11 loss at Georgetown, and remains a perfect 5-0 at home this season.

The Blue Devils saw scoring come from all places, with 13 different players finding the stat sheet on the day.

"I'm just so pleased we were able to distribute the ball well. One thing we didn't do well at Georgetown was that we didn't create well enough for ourselves," said head coach Kerstin Kimel.

"Today we were getting back to some of the fundamentals of our offense. Sometimes I don't care how open someone's looks are, I just want you to work the ball a little bit and we were able to do that today - making three or four more passes to create a really open look, which we didn't do Saturday."

"I'm pleased with how so many kids contributed today - not just starters, but kids off the bench who played hard and kept the intensity up."

Duke's entire roster saw action in today's game. Two players - sophomores Morgan Miller and Miller Hughes - scored their first goals of the 2009 season.

Senior Kim Imbesi and freshman Mollie Mackler split time in the cage, coming up with a combined eight saves and letting in just three goals - the lowest output for a Duke opponent this season and the fewest goals allowed since May 14, 2006, when the Blue Devils held Holy Cross to just two in the NCAA Tournament first round game.

Duke's 21 goals was its second-highest total of the season as the squad found the net 22 times against Vanderbilt last week. The Duke record for goals in a game is 24, coming in 2006.

Duke embarked on a 13-0 first half that was kicked off by a goal from senior Caroline Cryer after she took the pass from Lindsay Gilbride at 29:20. Gilbride had been awarded a free position chance but pulled back and fed the ball to Cryer, who found the back of the cage for Duke's first goal. Gilbride then got herself in the scoring column with Duke's second score, taking a pass from Jess Adam on a cut through the middle with 24:10 left in the first frame.

Duke had built its advantage to 8-0 halfway through the first and continued to roll.Through the first 30 minutes of action, Davis tallied four and nine other players had one goal each.

Cryer ended the first with three assists. The shots were 25-5 in favor of the home team at the break and Imbesi recorded two saves to that point to keep Virginia Tech scoreless. 

Duke would net the first two goals of the second half, to go up 15-0, before Virginia Tech got on the board off a free position chance for Allie Emala - who led the Hokies with two goals in the contest. The Hokies scored again nine minutes later on Emala's second tally, but the Blue Devils would net the next three to go up 19-2 before VT's Shannon Bone scored the third and final goal for the visitors with five minutes left on a man-down chance. Miller's and Hughes' goals rounded out Duke's scoring brigade to finish with 21 goals.

The loss snapped Virginia Tech's four-game winning streak and was the team's first loss since Feb. 25.

The Blue Devils ended with 38 total shots while holding VT to just 17 in that category, while edging them in ground balls, 27-19, and draw controls, 16-10. Duke was nearly perfect on clears, going 15-of-16 in transition.

Davis' seven points, coming on the five goals and two assists, led all players, and the senior has now scored a goal in 30 straight games. Cryer had two goals and three assists to finish with five points for Duke.

The all-time series now stands at 11-0 in favor of Duke, never having lost to the ACC opponent.

Duke will remain at home to host Canisius this Friday, March 20, for a 6 p.m. game at Koskinen. The teams have never faced each other before.

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