February 28, 2009

Courtesy of Duke

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In a game that saw four lead changes and seven ties, the No. 2 Duke women’s lacrosse team suffered its first loss of the season, falling 15-13 to fifth-ranked Maryland Saturday afternoon at UMD’s Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md. The loss dropped Duke to 4-1 on the season, while Maryland improved to 3-0.

Senior Caroline Cryer netted five goals to lead Duke, but the Terrapins unleashed a 6-1 scoring run in the middle of the second half to begin to pull away after the score was knotted 8-8 at halftime. Down 15-11 with under a minute to play, the Blue Devils would score two in the game’s final moments but the Terps were able to hang on for the upset win in the ACC opener for both squads.

“I think unfortunately we were just off today,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “I felt like we tried to make several adjustments defensively and weren’t successful in doing so. Also, we just didn’t take good care of the ball – we had 19 turnovers in the second half – and Maryland gave a great effort.”

“I think obviously we have a lot of work to do, but it’s early in the season and we’re confident our girls will bounce back from this. It’s a disappointing loss. I know we have a lot more in us than we showed today.”

Cryer opened the scoring just 30 seconds in off a pass from Carolyn Davis to give Duke the early 1-0 lead, before Maryland’s Laura Merrifield – who had five on the day – answered less than a minute later to tie it up early and set the tone for the way the back-and-forth affair would pan out.

A one-timer from Davis put Duke back on top as she took the pass in front from Megan Del Monte, before Jess Adam then made it 3-1 in favor of the Blue Devils with 23:45 showing on the clock as Adam was fed from Cryer from behind the net for the wide open look.

After Duke was assessed its first yellow card of the afternoon, the Terps were able to capitalize on the man-up situation with a score that was then followed by a Brittany Jones free position goal to tie it at three apiece. Maryland took its first lead of the day at 15:35 on the first of Amanda Spinnenweber’s three goals.

Down 5-3 with 11:18 left in the first, Duke responded with a goal from Sarah Bullard as she the sophomore cut through the middle and received a perfect pass from Del Monte. Cryer then scored again to tie it at five as she sent her free position chance into the bottom left corner past the UMD keeper.

Cryer added two more before the half as the score would be tied again at six and at eight apiece, which is where it stood at the break.

After halftime, the Terrapins began to take control, winning draws and keeping possession over the Blue Devils. But Del Monte scored the first of the second half to put Duke back up, 9-8, before Maryland tied it and Cryer’s fifth of the day made it 10-9. But Maryland would then go off on a 4-0 run to take a 13-11 advantage and wouldn’t surrender the lead from that point. The Terps went up by their largest margin of four, at 15-11, on a free position chance by Karri Ellen Johnson with 11:31 to go as the Blue Devils called timeout to regroup.

After the scoring frenzy that took place for most of the game, neither team would score again until with 39 seconds left in the game, Emma Hamm scored off another Del Monte assist to cut it to 15-11, but there just wasn’t enough time even after Lindsay Gilbride scored again with eight seconds left to cut it to two.

With the win, Maryland improved to 10-8 in the all-time series and snapped Duke’s season-opening four-game winning streak. Behind Cryer’s five goal effort, Davis had two and Del Monte, Bullard, Hamm, Adam, Gilbride, and Kat Thomas all found the scoring column with one tally apiece. Maryland was led by Merrifield’s five, while Spinnenweber and Johnson each had hat tricks.

The draw controls were even, 15-15, in the contest, while Maryland fired 32 shots to Duke’s 23 and grabbed four more ground balls. In the cage, senior Kim Imbesi picked up seven saves.

Duke will next return home to host No. 8 Princeton next Sat., March 7, at Koskinen Stadium.