April 21, 2009

Duke, Boston College Set for ACC Quarterfinal

from press release

DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 7 Duke women's lacrosse team opens play at the 2009 ACC Championships this week, headed to Virginia Tech's Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va., to face off against Boston College on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Blue Devils (11-4) used a 3-2 conference record to earn the No. 3 seed in the tournament, matching them up against the sixth-seeded Eagles for the opening round.

The Breakdown: The winner of that game will face second-seeded North Carolina Friday at 6:30 p.m., after UNC received the first-round bye by edging Duke Friday night, 9-7. The winner of the other opening-round game between No. 4 Virginia and the host No. 5 Hokies will take on No. 1 Maryland - which finished undefeated and captured the regular-season ACC crown in dominating fashion.

Last Year: In the 2008 ACC Championships, the Blue Devils advanced to the semifinals with a 19-6 win over Virginia Tech, before falling 10-9 to UVA in the second round. Duke had built a 7-1 lead early, and guarded an 8-3 advantage at the half, before allowing the Cavaliers to come back for the one-goal victory. Then-freshman Sarah Bullard led Duke with three goals in the contest. UVA outscored the Blue Devils, 7-1, in the second half.

All-Time In The Tournament: Duke is 6-11 all-time in the ACC Championships, and has one championship to its name, which came in 2005 after the Blue Devils rolled past North Carolina and Virginia to the title. Duke has won its first game of the tournament in four of the last five seasons.

In ACC Play: In 2009 during ACC play, the Blue Devils have posted the 3-2 record with victories over Virginia, Virginia Tech, and BC, and losses to UNC and Maryland. Duke players have shined in ACC games, with senior Carolyn Davis ranking first in goals per game (3.80), points per game (5.00), and shots per game (7.00) during conference play. Senior Caroline Cryer leads the league in assists per game with 1.80 during ACC games, while keeper Kim Imbesi is second in save percentage, stopping 47.8 percent of shots sent her way, in ACC games.

Last Time Out: In its last game, the Blue Devils rolled to a 17-5 victory over non-conference opponent Davidson on Sunday, with Christie Kaestner leading the way with a career-high four goals on the day. On Friday night, Duke dropped the tough two-goal decision to Carolina after holding the lead at halftime.

Against the Eagles: Against Boston College during regular-season play on April 11, the Blue Devils earned the 14-9 win in Chestnut Hill, Mass., paced by Davis' six-goal effort and impenetrable defense in the second half that held the Eagles to just three second-half goals. BC is 9-7 on the year following two straight wins against Siena and Bryant last week. Duke owns an all-time ledger of 6-0 over BC including this year's win.

A Look at BC: The Eagles are lead into the tournament by five 20+ goal-scorers, paced by Lauren Costello's 49 points (32g, 17a), Jenna McCabe's 48 (32g, 16a), and Kristin Igoe's 47 (37g, 10a).

Duke's Leaders: Davis has led the Blue Devils on the offensive end this season, garnering 60 points on 99 shots, tallying 49 goals and 11 assists. Cryer has put up 55 points on 31 goals and 24 assists, while Lindsay Gilbride's 40 goals and 10 assists are good for 50 points. Megan Del Monte is second on the squad in helpers, posting 21 assists on the year. Defensively, the Duke back line has held the opposition to just 9 goals per game while Imbesi has stopped 109 shots in the cage.

Stacking Up: The Blue Devils stack up well in both the ACC and NCAA stats columns this season. Among ACC players in all games, Davis ranks third in goals per game (3.87) and points per game (4.00), while she and Bullard have each posted three game-winning goals in '09 to rank fourth there. Cryer is fifth in assists per game (1.71) and sixth in points per game (3.93), while Gilbride sits fifth in goals per game (2.67). Imbesi is fourth in ground balls, scooping up over 2.5 per contest.

Nationally, Davis ranks 34th in points and Cryer 49th. Davis also sits 17th in goals per game and 27th in points per game. In the assists column, Cryer is 30th and Del Monte is 38th in assists. Del Monte is also 17th in assists per game, while Cryer is 22nd.

As a team, Duke ranks second in the ACC in goals, assists, shots and points per game, while leading the conference in shot percentage (.469), caused turnovers per game (10.93), and shots on goal per game (25.80).

Going Streaking: Two Duke players also find themselves tied to some interesting storylines, as Davis has scored a goal and notched at least one point in 36 straight games, good for the third-longest streak in the nation for goals and ninth for points. Her 183 career goals stacks up seventh among active career leaders, while her 233 career points ranks 12th. Cryer's 155 career goals is 11th among active players, 67 career assists is 13th. Del Monte's 62 career assists sits her 19th.

Possible Revenge: If Duke can get by the Eagles, it would be looking at the rematch with Carolina, who is 13-3 (4-1) and has won the last three meetings against Duke.

Next Up: Duke still has one regular season game left, against Dartmouth on May 3 at 1 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium. It will mark Senior Day for Duke's seven graduating players - Davis, Cryer, Imbesi, Del Monte, Christina Germinario, Jess Adam, and Jessica McBride.

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