Duke Athletics

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s offense was firing on all cylinders as the fourth-ranked Blue Devils opened the 2011 campaign with a 21-9 victory against Ohio State at Koskinen Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Duke (1-0) totaled 21 goals on 29 shots while also tying a program single-game high with 13 assists. The Blue Devils’ 34 points against the Buckeyes is just two shy of the program record set against Le Moyne in 2007.

“I really was pleased,” head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “The biggest thing coming into the game for us was to be able to set the tone from the first whistle, and I thought we did that. That is a testament to our upperclassmen and the leadership we have on the field. I thought they did an awesome job of setting the tone right away.”

In total, five Blue Devils tallied three or more goals in the contest, led by junior Kat Thomas and redshirt junior Emma Hamm with four each. Hamm (4g, 2a), along with senior Christie Kaestner (3g, 3a), also led the team in points for the game with six, while sophomore Makenzie Hommel and redshirt freshman Maddie Salamone both marked their first career starts with three goals each. Senior Sarah Bullard (2g, 1 a), senior Virginia Crotty (1g, 3a) and sophomore Jackie Klauberg (1g) rounded out the Duke goal scorers.

Duke opened the scoring on its first possession as Hamm, who returns this season after missing 2010 due to injury, notched the first score of the season for the Blue Devils. Duke never looked back, building a 9-1 advantage with 16:30 remaining in the opening period.

After Ohio State narrowed the margin to 9-5, Duke responded with another run to take a 14-5 lead into the intermission. The Buckeyes struck first to begin the second half, yet the remainder of the game belonged to the Blue Devils, who built a 20-6 lead before Ohio State scored three goals with under eight minutes to play.

Junior Mollie Mackler, who also returns to the line up after missing a part of last season to injury, started in goal for the Blue Devils and made eight saves to earn the win.