Duke Slams VT, Kimel's 200th Career Win
from press release
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women's lacrosse team used a complete game effort to cruise past the visiting Hokies of Virginia Tech with an 18-8 win from Koskinen Stadium Wednesday evening.
With the win tonight, head coach Kerstin Kimel picked up her 200th career victory, becoming just the 10th coach in Division I history to accomplish the feat. In addition, Kimel joins Navy's Cindy Timchal, Notre Dame's Tracy Coyne, Princeton's Chris Sailer and Virginia's Julie Myers as the only active coaches with 200 or more career wins.
"I had no idea whatsoever," Kimel said. "It was a very nice surprise, and a great way to do it. I'm really proud of our girls. We're going on four games in 12 days, and what I'm most pleased with is our ability to come out and compete at a really high level. One of our major goals this year is to be consistent because consistency breeds confidence."
Coming off three straight wins over ranked opponents, the Blue Devils (7-1, 1-1 ACC) utilized that momentum to control the game from the opening draw as they jumped out to a comfortable 13-5 lead by the end of the first stanza. Duke's offense found a rhythm early on as the Blue Devils dished out 11 assists on their 18 goals scored. Senior Christie Kaestner recorded a season-best five assists to lead all players, and chipped in with two goals as well.
Virginia Tech (6-3, 1-1 ACC) looked to carry over its success from last Saturday's upset win over No. 16 Boston College as the Hokies won the opening draw and scored the first goal of the game a minute in on a Jessica Nonn unassisted score. The Hokies' lead would be short-lived however, as Duke would score two goals, one each from Amanda Jones and Emma Hamm, in 41 seconds. Jones would finish the day with three tallies, a season high for the junior, while Hamm totaled five points on two goals and three assists.
The Hokies answered to knot the score at two-all, but Duke put the visiting team away with an 11-3 run to close out the half. Junior Kat Thomas registered three of her four goals during that span, and freshman Molly Quirke added two goals and an assist during the run.
Duke began the second half in similar fashion, shutting out the Hokie offense until 4:42 remained in the game while scoring five goals during that time. Virginia Tech ended the contest with a 3-0 spurt, but the effort was too little too late for the Hokies.
For the game, the Blue Devils outshot the Hokies, 38-20 and won the draw by a margin of 16-13, including a 13-6 advantage in the first half. Junior goaltender Mollie Mackler stopped eight shots to earn the win and also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
On offense, Kim Wenger (1g), Maddy Morrissey (1g), Taylor Virden (1g), Virginia Crotty (1a) and Alyssa Ogle (1a) rounded out the Duke effort. Virginia Tech was led by Jessica Nonn with two goals and an assist and Brooke Martin with two tallies.
"Every team we play has a different style of defense," Kimel added, "and our ability to win the draw is huge. This is the closest full game we've put together as we made great stops defensively and we continued to win the draw. We have the ability to control games more than we were doing earlier in the season, and this game tonight is a really great step in that direction."
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Blue Devils will return to Koskinen Stadium Saturday, March 19 for a 1 p.m. bout with Ivy League foe Dartmouth. This weekend's contest has been christened "Meg's Game" as the team will hold a post-game ceremony to honor the life and memory of Meg Wasley, a close friend of the program.