DURHAM, N.C. - Senior attacker Makenzie Hommel scored a career-high five goals as the seventh-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team defeated Richmond, 18-10, Friday evening under the lights at Koskinen Stadium.
"I'm pleased that we're scoring a lot of goals, and I think we're capable of doing that," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "[Hommel] is our only senior on offense right now and she's definitely our most experienced player out there, so I'm really pleased with her effort in the last three games and certainly tonight she was a huge spark for us."
Leading by just two at the half, the Blue Devils tallied four goals within the first five minutes of the second period to build an 11-6 lead. Duke also added five more scores - with three coming on free position shots - over the final 10 minutes of play.
Sophomore Taylor Trimble led all scorers on the day with a career-best six points on four goals and two assists, followed by Hommel and sophomore Kerrin Maurer (2g, 3a) with five points each. Attacker Brigid Smith continued what has been a solid start to her sophomore campaign, registering a career-high four goals and going 2-for-2 on free position attempts.
Richmond opened the game with a 2-1 advantage, but the Blue Devils answered with a 4-0 run over the next eight minutes of action. The Spiders then cut the lead to 6-5 with just over four minutes remaining in the half before a goal by Hommel on an assist from Trimble put Duke up, 7-5, at the intermission. The Blue Devils led 18-6 in shots at halftime and held a narrow 7-6 advantage in draw controls.
In the early minutes of the second half, Trimble found the net twice and freshman Kelci Smesko and Maurer also provided goals, extending Duke's lead to 11-6. The Spiders scored three times in the next six minutes with two of the goals coming on free position shots, but Duke responded with a 5-0 run to seal the 18-10 victory.
"What I really like about what we did is in the second half, we adjusted," Kimel said. "At halftime, we really talked about placing our shots better, making sure we were going hard to goal and transitioning the ball hard, which I think we did. From there, we generated some great looks, and some fouls where we drew eight-meters, and we scored on those."
For the game, the Blue Devils outshot Richmond 37-16 and held a 20-10 advantage in draw controls, with junior Maddy Morrissey, junior Taylor Virden and redshirt junior Maddie Salamone tallying four each. Virden also picked up a career-high five ground balls, while sophomore Gabby Moise led the squad in the caused turnovers category with three. In goal, senior Kaitlin Gaiss recorded four saves for Duke and her counterpart, Richmond's Emily Boyce, notched 12 saves in the Spiders' loss.
With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 3-0 on the year and will close a four-game homestand Sunday, Feb. 17 against William & Mary. The contest will begin at 3 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.