Duryea, Duke Shut Down Virginia in Top-10 Battle
Freshman goalie Kelsey Duryea made 12 saves to backstop a strong defensive effort in Duke's 13-7 victory Saturday at Virginia.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The offensive firepower of the Duke women's lacrosse team is well documented, as the Blue Devils entered Saturday afternoon's tilt with Virginia ranked second in the nation at 14.4 goals per game. However, Duke's defense carried the day in the sixth-ranked Blue Devils 13-7 win over ninth-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville.
Dynamic freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea led the defensive charge for Duke -- even though the game did not start the way Duryea would have hoped when Virginia's Christie Donovan scored just 19 seconds into the game.
"I had some jitters," Duryea said. "It kind of gave me a preview of what they had and what I needed to do."
Duryea responded with a memorable performance between the pipes. She held the Cavaliers to just two second-half goals.
Duryea is a left-handed goalie, which gives her an advantage against the right-handed attackers. The Cavaliers normally practice against and face right-handed goalkeepers. The switch appeared to throw the Virginia shooters off guard, as several shots went directly into Duryea's stick.
Duryea finished with a season-high 12 saves to earn her fifth win.
"Our defense gave [Duryea] a lot of shots that she could save," Duke coach Kerstin Kimel said. "Our goal was to put pressure on their hands and their shooting, and I thought that gave her a chance to make saves."
As a unit, the Blue Devils (9-1) were relentless on defense in the second half. Virginia had several open looks in front of the net that were quickly sealed shut by a wall of Duke defenders. Virginia's Casey Bocklet came into Saturday's contest ranked third in the ACC in goals per game. Bocklet led the Cavaliers with two first-half goals, but had to fight for every inch of space in the second half.
The Blue Devils were the aggressors on ground balls, too, holding an 11-4 edge.
Neither team could gain separation early, with four ties before the Blue Devils built a two-goal advantage late in the half. Makenzie Hommel scored three of her game-high four goals in the first half.
The Blue Devils mixed things up offensively in the second half with a combination of fast-brea, and more deliberate offensive sets. Kerrin Maurer found fellow sophomore Taylor Trimble for the first goal of a 3-0 Duke run, as the Blue Devils stretched their lead to 9-5 in the second half. Duke dominated the time of possession and outshot Virginia 18-9 in the second half.
"There were times when we pulled off and we didn't push because we wanted to be more organized," Kimel said. "There were times that we did push tempo, and we made good defensive stops. Some of those opportunities that we pushed on created great momentum for us. We capitalized off that, which gave us that surge there in the final 15 minutes."
The Cavaliers notched two quick goals to cut the lead to 9-7, but the Blue Devils would maintain their time-of-possession advantage. Virginia could not sustain anything offensively. Duke's Maddy Morrissey finished with three goals and an assist.
One decided advantage the Cavaliers had in the first half — but not in the second — was draw controls. Virginia snagged eight of 12 first-half draws thanks in large part to the play of sophomore Courtney Swan. The Blue Devils pulled even on draws at 5-5 in the second half, which allowed the visitors to control the tempo.
"We needed a few of those in the second half," Virginia coach Julie Myers said. "If we could have generated a few fast-break opportunities and some 1-on-1, and some goals off of those, it would have made a big difference."
The loss bumped Virginia back to .500. The Cavaliers have played six teams ranked in the top 10 so far this season. After defeating Loyola in the season opener, Virginia has now lost five straight in that stretch.
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