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Duryea, Defense Lead Duke Past Georgetown

Devils roll on, beating the Hoyas 12-4.

File photo
File photo
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

In the first of three consecutive road games, the Duke women's lacrosse team traveled to D.C. on Wednesday to take on Georgetown. Paced by an outstanding performance from junior goaltender Kelsey Duryea and a stifling defensive effort, the Blue Devils started fast and never looked back, routing the Hoyas, 12-4.

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After reaching the NCAA second round in both 2013 and 2014, the Hoyas are off to a surprising slow start in 2015; they came into the game at 1-3, with their only win over a George Mason team ranked 49th in the computer rankings. The Hoyas came in averaging only 8.25 goals per game; Caroline Tarzian, their leading scorer in 2014 with 47 points, had 10 coming into Wednesday's game.

Duke won the opening draw, and Kerrin Maurer opened the scoring 1:17 into the game, assisted by Brigid Smith. On the ensuing Hoya possession, the game's two prevailing themes came into view; Duryea made two fine saves, and Duke's decided advantage in team speed turned what looked to be a routine clear into a transition opportunity with numbers. Katie Trees found a cutting Chelsea Landon alone in front, and Landon finished for a 2-0 lead. After Carolyn Seibel got the Hoyas on the board, Maddy Acton drew a slide and dished to Smith 51 seconds later. The two defenses took turns forcing turnovers for the next nine minutes, until Duke's Kyra Harney took a feed from Trees and beat Georgetown's Maddy Fisher to make it 4-1. Lauren Schwalje got one back with an outstanding mid-range rip, but Duke shut out the Hoyas for the remaining 14:16 of the half, and the Blue Devils piled on three more. Smith picked up her second of the half from Landon on a fast break after a turnover, Harney deposited a free-position attempt into an empty net (the foul that lead to the FP was on Fisher, who by rule was required to be four meters behind Harney on the whistle), and Harney completed her hat trick with a transition goal on a feed from Maurer. Duke went to the locker room with a 7-3 lead, and it could have been more if not for Fisher, who had a terrific half with five saves.

Duryea stuffed Tarzian nine seconds into the second half, and after the teams traded turnovers, Smith opened the scoring 3:48 into the half with her third of the game, assisted by Trimble. Tarzian ended the Hoya drought 57 seconds later, cutting the lead back to four, but Duryea and the Duke defense threw a wet blanket over the Hoya attack, making two saves and forcing six turnovers in a scoreless string that lasted 19:49. In the meantime, Duke put up four unanswered goals. Maurer had a goal and two assists in the run; she set up Stuart Humphrey's first of the season on an excellent cut through the middle of the Hoya defense, and found Trimble on an identical cut as the Hoyas' interior defense started to crumble. Harney found Smith cutting along goal line extended and she finished from the doorstep for her fourth of the day, and Maurer turned scorer as Landon found her alone in front in transition. Tarzian picked up her second of the day on a free-position shot with 5:26 to go, and that was the end of the scoring. The Hoyas had a flurry of late chances, including two free-position attempts, but Duryea slammed the door with four saves in the last 4:47. In all, the Duke defense limited Georgetown to one goal from the run of play in the last 44:16.

Smith (4g, 1a) and Maurer (2g, 3a) led the Blue Devil attack with five points each. Harney had her second consecutive hat trick, plus an assist; the freshman now has 26 points on the season. Landon, Trimble, and Humphrey added single markers. Duryea had 10 saves, seven in the second half, and the Duke defense forced 15 turnovers and six failed clears.

Tarzian had two goals to lead the Hoyas. Fisher was outstanding in goal in her own right, with nine saves including a miraculous stop on Landon early in the second half.

Duke out-shot the Hoyas 29-20, had a 18-15 ground ball advantage, and won 10 of 18 draws. Duke shot 41.4 percent en route to 37.5 percent offensive efficiency, while holding the Hoyas to 20 percent shooting and 13.8 percent offensive efficiency. The Duke defense has held three opponents below 20 percent efficiency.

Duke moves to 8-0 (2-0 in the ACC), while the Hoyas drop to 1-4. Duke moves on to Louisville to face the 12th-ranked (coaches' poll) Cardinals, who suffered their first loss of the season, a one-goal heartbreaker to Boston College, on Wednesday; the opening draw is at noon on Saturday.