October 5, 2013

Thomas Leads Loyola in Fall Rout of Visiting Duke

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

The Greyhounds looked strong in their second date of the fall, topping Duke behind a big performance from junior Annie Thomas.
© John Strohsacker/LaxMagazine.com 

In its second time around hosting a fall ball event, Loyola presented a well-balanced team that dominated a visiting Duke squad. The two teams played a full game plus an extra 20 minute period in humid weather that was 84 in the stands and far higher on the turf.

By an unofficial score, the Greyhounds won the match-up 20-8. Midfielders Taryn van Thof and Katrina Geiger dominated against Duke's star player Kerrin Mauer on the draw. Loyola junior attacker Annie Thomas led all scorers with 8 assists and a single goal.

While Thomas had the lion's share of the points, coach Jen Adams was happy to see a more consistent effort from end to end on the field after last week's games against Michigan and Johns Hopkins.

Duke struggled defensively in its first fall ball event, especially with two of its best players sidelined with injury. Taylor Virden played the last six games of the 2013 season with a broken foot and is still recovering from surgery in the summer. Gabby Moises also sat out the game with a strained shoulder. Both are expected to be healthy by the spring. Sophomore goalie Kelsey Duryea did well behind a green defense, although the Blue Devils clearing game struggled against Loyola's swarming double teams.

Duke coach Kerstin Kimel mixed up her veteran midfield lines to include three upperclassmen and one freshmen to give rookies like Paige Russell and Helen Cammerzell some field time.

"Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't," Kimel said. ""I look at fall ball as an educational thing."

Kimel added that her brainy student athletes, always full of questions, had lots of queries about the new rule that allows defenders to move through and even stand in the crease. With the defense thinned out by injury and the rule so new, the Blue Devils didn't press Thomas much behind the cage.

"It will be harder, but for a fast attacker, it's not a big problem," Adams said of the challenges the new crease rule presents for offensive players.

Mauer, the Blue Devils' 2013 leader in points and assists, continued to impress, adding some midfield play to her repetoire in addition to shouldering the draw and her attacking duties. Kimel said the junior has stepped up as a leader, on and off the field.

"Our strength and conditioning coach said that Kerrin's really been going hard in the weight room," Kimel said.

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