Defense propels Duke to victory
Mackler's 15 saves help hold Georgetown to low output of year
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The third-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team utilized a 7-0 run in the first half en route to a 13-5 victory against No. 9 Georgetown Saturday afternoon from Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. Duke junior goalie Mollie Mackler made a career-high 15 saves in the contest as the Blue Devil defense held the Hoyas to a season-low five goals.
The Hoyas (0-3) fired 25 shots to 24 from the Blue Devils (6-1), but were turned back time and again by Mackler, who also held Georgetown to just 1-of-7 on free position shots. For the game, Duke edged Georgetown in draw controls, 11-10, but the Hoyas earned the advantage in ground balls, 12-8.
Duke's leading scorers on the season were again the catalysts for the offense with junior Kat Thomas pacing the offense with four goals on four shots and redshirt junior Emma Hamm netting a hat trick. Senior Christie Kaestner recorded four points on a goal and three assists, while classmate Virginia Crotty dished out two assists and also netted a goal.
Despite the final margin, it would be Georgetown who won the opening draw, and the Hoyas converted the possession into an early 1-0 lead. However, Duke would win the following seven draws, sparking a 7-0 run for the Blue Devils. Crotty, assisted by sophomore Makenzie Hommel, opened the scoring for Duke at the 28:18 mark before the New Vernon, N.J., native found Kaestner in front of the cage for Duke's second tally. Thomas would add three of her four goals in the next three minutes to push Duke's advantage to 5-1 with 22:01 remaining in the opening period before freshman Taylor Virden netted her first collegiate goal to increase Duke's lead to 6-1. Redshirt freshman Maddie Salamone finished off the Blue Devils' run with just over eight minutes to go.
A free position goal from the Hoyas' Rosie Corcoran with 7:21 left in the half ended Duke's run. Georgetown added another goal with 19 seconds left in the opening period to bring the score to 7-3 heading into halftime.
Duke would put an end to the shift in momentum as the second half began, opening the stanza with three unanswered goals. A score from freshman Molly Quirke followed by a Hamm tally pushed the Duke advantage to 10-3 with 24:35 left to play, and the Duke defense kept Georgetown off the board for the first 11:27 of the second period before the Hoyas' Kelsi Bozel registered an unassisted goal with 18:37 left to play.
The Blue Devils again held the Hoyas scoreless, while registering three goals of their own, until 18 seconds remained in the contest. Georgetown's Sophia Thomas netted the Hoyas' fifth and final goal of the game.