DURHAM, N.C. - Trailing by two early in the second half, the fifth-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team remained composed and utilized a 5-0 run to earn a 10-9 victory over No. 2 Maryland Saturday afternoon from Koskinen Stadium.
The Blue Devils (4-2, 1-0 ACC) controlled the tempo of the game and limited the Terrapins' offense, which averaged 34 shots and nearly 19 goals per contest coming into today, to 20 shots and nine goals. Maryland (3-1, 0-1 ACC) held the advantage in draw controls (12-9), but the Blue Devils led the Terrapins 7-3 in that category after halftime.
"I just really wanted them to execute today, regardless of what the score was," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "We believed that if we executed, we would win. The reality is that we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores on the field who do a lot of things for us. For them and for our team, to get a win like this under their belt, it's just going to bring confidence."
Sophomore Maddy Morrissey paced the Duke offense with three goals on the day, her third multi-goal game of the season. Freshman Taylor Trimble sparked the Blue Devils' second-half run with two goals, while Duke received a goal and an assist from sophomore Molly Quirke and a goal each from junior Makenzie Hommel, redshirt senior Emma Hamm, senior Kim Wenger and freshman Kerrin Maurer.
Senior goaltender Mollie Mackler made six saves, including several crucial stops in the second half, as Duke picked up its first win against the Terps since a 9-7 victory in the NCAA quarterfinals on May 17, 2008.
Duke stayed patient on offense throughout the contest and took advantage of its opportunities, which led to a 5-0 Blue Devil lead with 4:33 to play in the first half. The Blue Devils struck first on a goal from Morrissey seven minutes in, and the sophomore from Skaneateles, N.Y., made it a 2-0 game with 21:58 left in the half off an assist from classmate Quirke. Hommel connected on the first of three Duke free position goals to push the lead to 3-0 before Hamm and Wenger made it 5-0 on back-to-back scores.
The Terps would win the final six draw controls of the half and Maryland's offense came alive with five unanswered in just under two minutes. Kelly McPartland, who netted a hat trick, got things started with an unassisted tally and followed a Beth Glaros goal with her second of the day to make it 5-3. Karri Ellen Johnson cut Duke's lead to one with 1:53 and Katie Schwarzmann tied the game at five-all with 1:18 left on the clock.
Maryland fired three shots on its final possession of the period, but Duke's defense held and the two teams headed to the locker rooms with the score knotted at five.
The Terrapins picked up where they left off to start the second half and held a 7-5 lead after three minutes of play. Despite the deficit, Duke stayed calm. Trimble netted a free position shot and followed with a second to tie the game at 7-7 with 17:31 to go.
Duke's patience continued to pay off with the Blue Devils using just under eight minutes to stake a three goal lead. Maurer, Morrissey and Quirke each scored an unassisted goal during the streak.
Glaros ended the run with a free position goal, her game-high fourth score of the day, with under five minutes to play. But Hamm gathered the ensuing draw control, allowing Duke to run close to four minutes off the clock. Maryland scored a goal with seven seconds left, but the Terps were unable to get a final shot off as Duke hung on for the victory.
"I think our kids did a good job of sticking to the game plan," added Kimel. "We made some really good adjustments on the draw and really battled on the draw to give ourselves possession and then maintain possession on offense and really work what we were trying to work for on offense."
After taking on the top two teams in the country at home in back-to-back weekends, Duke returns to the road and will face Princeton Saturday, March 3 before playing Stony Brook Monday, March 5.