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Courtesy: George Jennison
Blue Devils to Face Stanford in NCAA First Round
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/04/2014
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DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s lacrosse program will make its 17th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, as announced Sunday evening on The Blue Devils, currently ranked ninth in the nation, will face 18th-ranked Stanford Friday, May 9 in South Bend, Ind.

Duke and Stanford will square off for the seventh time in program history and the first time since 2008 with the Blue Devils leading the series, 6-0. Duke won the last meeting by a 16-9 score Feb. 17, 2008 in Dallas. The two teams have never met in NCAA Championship play.          

Coming off of its 13th national quarterfinals appearance in 2013, Duke has compiled a 9-7 record this spring and has ranked among the top 10 teams in the IWLCA Coaches’ Poll the entire season. The Blue Devils received their first NCAA Tournament bid in 1998 and have made an appearance in the postseason event in each of the following seasons. Under the direction of head coach Kerstin Kimel, the program has tallied an all-time record of 12-3 in NCAA first round action and has won nine consecutive first round contests. Historically, Duke is 19-16 all-time in NCAA competition with six trips to the national semifinals (1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011).

Junior Kerrin Maurer has paced the Duke attack this season with 48 goals and 26 assists while senior Sydney Peterson, sophomore Kelci Smesko, junior Taylor Trimble and senior Maddy Morrissey have also surpassed the 20-point total for the spring.

The Blue Devil defense has limited opponents to just 9.75 goals per game and has held eight opponents to single-digit scoring. Senior defender Taylor Virden leads the team in caused turnovers and draw controls and this season moved into second place all-time at Duke with 178 draw controls for her career. In the net, sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea has recorded a 9.81 goals against average to go with a .428 save percentage and a team-high 40 ground balls.

Four Blue Devils were named to the 2014 All-ACC teams, with Trimble and Virden earning first team honors and Maurer and Morrissey receiving second team distinction. Maurer and Virden have also been selected nominees for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award.

Stanford enters NCAA Tournament play with a 14-4 ledger after falling to Denver, 14-11, Sunday in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation final. The Cardinal was nationally ranked throughout the spring and features eight players with 20 or more points, led by Rachel Ozer (32g, 13a).

The winner of Friday’s contest advances to face the winner of the High Point/Notre Dame matchup in the second round of the tournament Sunday, May 11 in South Bend. Notre Dame received the No. 8 seed in the tournament. Overall, a record seven ACC teams were selected to the NCAA Championship field.