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WLAX: Blue Devils Outlast Louisville, 14-11

Posted February 9

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— Junior Kerrin Maurer recorded her second hat trick in as many games, netting five goals to lead No. 6 Duke to a 14-11 victory over Louisville Sunday afternoon in non-conference action at Koskinen Stadium.

With the score knotted at 10-10 early in the second half, the Blue Devils (2-0) tallied four goals in the final 15 minutes of the contest and held up strong on the defensive end to pull away from the Cardinals (0-1).

“We have a lot of different people who can score,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “It’s early in the year, and I’m pleased that we’re scoring so much and that it’s so balanced. But today’s game looked like a second game of the year. Our possessions weren’t awesome. Our poise on offense was not as good as it should be. We certainly have a lot of good things to work on coming out of this game.”

Louisville converted on two free position opportunities to start the game, propelling the visiting squad to a 4-0 advantage within the first five minutes of play. Senior Sydney Peterson got Duke on the board at the 23:09 mark, finishing inside on a pass from Maurer. After a counter by the Cardinals’ Faye Brust, Maurer helped spark a 7-1 scoring run to put the Blue Devils up 8-6 heading into the intermission. A native of Setauket, N.Y., Maurer registered four of her five goals on the day during the streak while Peterson and juniors Chelsea Landon and Erin Tenneson also added scores.

Defensively, junior Gabby Moise limited Louisville leading scorer Nikki Boltja to just one goal during the 15-minute span.

At the half, the two teams were tied in shots with 14 apiece. Duke held a slight 8-7 advantage at the draw while Louisville was leading the ground ball battle, 8-6.

Freshman Hayley Shaffer found the back of the net for the second-straight game, scoring an extra-man goal on an assist from Maurer to open the second half. The two squads then traded markers, with the Cardinals adding two more on free position opportunities, including one by Brust to knot the game at 10-10 with 19:15 remaining.

Duke answered by locking down defensively and taking control at the draw, powering the offense to a pair of goals by Tenneson and Landon. After the Cardinals’ Boltja recorded her fifth of the day to push it back to a one-goal margin, the Blue Devils tacked on two more scores to secure the 14-11 victory.

“We knew Louisville is a really tough team and we knew they’re really well-conditioned,” Peterson said. “We just tried to run them as hard as we could in the ride and really take it to them on offense. And I think our defense did a really great job of being scrappy.”

Maurer, who notched a career-high six-goal performance Friday against Elon in the season opener, now has 11 goals and five assists through two games. Landon, Peterson and Tenneson all finished the day with two goals, while Shaffer and sophomores Maddy Acton and Kelci Smesko accounted for one each.

Junior Taylor Virden once again paced the Blue Devils at the draw, collecting five wins there to go along with two ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea posted 11 saves against 27 shots taken by Louisville to move to 2-0 between the pipes. The Cardinals’ Ashley Herbst finished with six saves in the loss.

Overall, Louisville registered 27 shots to 23 by Duke and picked up 14 ground balls to 12 by the Blue Devils. Draw controls were even with both teams winning 14 each. Duke also went 11-of-12 on the day in clearing attempts while holding the Cardinals to a 9-of-13 clearing performance.

“Louisville can score, they’re very good on the draw and I think they’ll be a great addition in terms of lacrosse to the ACC next year,” Kimel said. “It was a good early test … We definitely learned what we need to do better and what we need to do more of and less of. It gives us a great road map going into next week.”

Following the successful opening weekend at home, the Blue Devils will hit the road next weekend, traveling to Richmond Friday, Feb. 14 for a 5 p.m. contest before facing William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.

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