Feb. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Duke

DENVER - The third-ranked Duke women's lacrosse team completed a perfect weekend as it rolled past the University of California-Berkeley, 19-7, in the first-ever meeting between the teams Sunday afternoon. The game was a neutral-site non-conference match-up played at the University of Denver's Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.


With a 17-8 win Friday night over No. 19 Denver already in the books, the Blue Devils start off 2-0 for the eighth consecutive season.


"It's always tough to open the season on the road, but I thought we had a great opportunity to play against two really good teams this weekend," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "I just told our girls I'm really pleased with how we traveled this weekend, how we prepared and how we then performed. I felt we were able to switch in and out of things, regroup if we had lulls, and play with the same intensity and focus we want to play with for the rest of the year. I'm very happy with the way we opened the season."


The Blue Devils saw a very balanced afternoon offensively, as Lindsay Gilbride and Carolyn Davis each netted four goals for the second straight game, while Caroline Cryer and Megan Del Monte scored hat tricks. Freshman Kat Thomas and sophomore Sarah Bullard scored twice and Kim Wenger added one goal.


Cryer chipped in five assists to finish with eight points, while the Blue Devils saw four different players chip in at least four points in the victory.


Four of Cal's seven goals came via the free position shot as the Duke defense also turned in a strong outing and was able to limit the Golden Bears' chances. In net, senior Kim Imbesi and freshman Mollie Mackler split time as Mackler saw the first game action of her career.


Imbesi recorded six stops to finish with 19 on the weekend, while Mackler came up with four saves.


Duke wasted no time getting back into the offensive flow Sunday, as Gilbride scored just 11 seconds in off a pass from Emma Hamm, after Hamm won the game's opening draw.


Davis gave Duke the 2-0 edge with a goal at the 27:35 mark, taking a pass from Del Monte on the play. The Blue Devils held control of the ball for the majority of play at the start, keeping the ball in the offensive end. Del Monte found the scoring column moments later as she converted on an unassisted score for the 3-0 lead at 25:17.


Cryer played a big part in getting the Blue Devils off to a 9-0 lead in the first half, as she scored a goal and added four helpers in the first 11 minutes of play. The Duke defense did not allow a goal until the 13:22 mark in the first half, when the Golden Bears got on the board with a free position goal by Elizabeth Jahp. Cal's second goal also came via the free position, when Lauren Johnson made it 10-1 with seven minutes before the break.


The freshman Wenger netted the first goal of her collegiate career, as Cryer found her streaking through the eight-meter arc and the pair connected for the Blue Devils' 10th goal of the day. Cal added a third free position goal with 2:40 remaining the first to make it 10-3 at the break.


Gilbride got Duke rolling again after halftime, adding two more goals in the first two minutes. Her first was a wrap-around shot as she started behind the cage and fooled the keeper for the hat trick. She then added her fourth goal of the game off a pass from Cryer.


The Golden Bears got their first traditional goal of the day when Alex Tickner converted to make it 12-4 in favor of the Blue Devils with 26:45 left in the contest. Davis put in a second-chance shot to give her the hat trick at 25:00, followed by a Cryer goal off an assist from Hamm on the right side for the 14-4 advantage.


After Cal scored twice in a row to make it 16-6, Davis tallied her fourth goal with 7:12 to play off a spin move in the arc, before Thomas netted two in a row as time ran down. The Bears found the net once more with under a minute to play to make it 19-7 at the final whistle.


Duke held the 31-22 edge in the shot column and won 10 draws to Cal's three.


With a four goal-three assist effort in the Denver game, Davis finished the weekend with 11 total points and Gilbride with 10 on eight goals and two assists. Cryer's eight point effort on Sunday left her with 10 as well.


A total of nine Blue Devils scored on the Denver trip.


Next up for Duke will be a pair of home games next weekend, as the Blue Devils welcome Richmond to Koskinen Stadium for the home opener on Fri., Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., followed by a tilt William & Mary on Sun., Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.


Both games will be part of double-headers with the men's lacrosse team.


DENVER - Senior Carolyn Davis and junior Lindsay Gilbride tallied four goals apiece to lead the No. 3 Duke women's lacrosse team to a 17-8 win over the 19th-ranked University of Denver Pioneers in the 2009 season-opener Friday evening at the Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

After getting off to a slow start in the contest, which included snow flurries at the outset, the Blue Devils came out firing in the second half, turning in an 11-2 scoring run that included five straight goals after the break - four of which came in the first four minutes.

Davis added three assists to seal the seven-point effort. Behind Davis and Gilbride, Sarah Bullard netted a hat trick and Caroline Cryer scored twice. Jess Adam, Emma Hamm, Megan Del Monte, and Kat Thomas all scored one goal for the Blue Devils.

"I think given that we had less than ideal playing conditions for our first game, I'm pleased with our overall hustle and the effort we gave," said head coach Kerstin Kimel. "There were times in the game where we needed to maintain our composure a little better, and we will work on that as we go."

The Pioneers' Steph Coyne scored first in the game, less than minute in, to give Denver the early lead. After being forced to play a man down with an early yellow card, the Blue Devils weathered the threat and answered back on Davis' first score of the day off an assist from Gilbride. Gilbride had been awarded a free-position chance but deferred the shot and found Davis wide open on the top left for Duke to tie it up.

Denver went up 2-1 before a goal by Adam off a Davis assist evened the score again. Duke then took its first lead of the game, 3-2, with 16:39 on the clock on Hamm's first score of the season, after she juked her defender and found the shot from the right side. Denver would tie it on a goal by Karen Morton, but Duke's next score - a free-position attempt for Gilbride which she sent into the bottom right corner - gave the Blue Devils the lead at 4-3 which they would never surrender.

Duke began to pull away with three consecutive scores before halftime, first an unassisted tally for Bullard, followed by a Del Monte free position goal and a one-timer from Cryer in front with 16 seconds to go in the first. That made it 9-5 in favor of the Blue Devils heading into the locker room.

Kim Imbesi - who finished with nine saves - came up with some big stops in the second to go along with a Duke offense that came out on fire. After the Blue Devils netted the first five goals of the second half, Denver snapped the 11-2 run to make it 14-6.

With 16:23 to play, Thomas connected on her first collegiate goal as she took a pass from Del Monte. Gilbride then added her fourth of the day off a pass from Hamm before another Pioneer goal. But Duke closed out the contest with a free-position chance for Bullard, who sent it into the back of the net for the 17-8 advantage with just eight seconds left on the clock to give the Blue Devils their first victory of 2009.

For the Pioneers, Becca Steinberg and Ali Flury posted two goals each. Katie Gold came up with nine saves in net for Denver.

The Blue Devils are now 13-1 in the season's first game, having won 13 straight openers after losing the first in the program's history in 1996. Last season, Duke opened with a 16-11 victory over the Pioneers Feb. 15 at home in Durham, N.C. Duke improves to 1-0 while Denver fell to 0-2 on the early season.

Duke won 15 ground balls to Denver's 10, also edging the Pioneers in the shot column by a count of 36-21.

"I think for our first game we came out really well, really took it to them, and did better on the draw, which was a main goal," said Davis. "Our offense played amazing, especially in the second half - we were very dynamic - and the defense did a good job executing the game plan, so overall we're really happy. It does point out some things we need to work on, but we're excited about the season getting going."

Duke will return to action Sunday afternoon to face California at 2 p.m. EST in a neutral-site match-up at DU's facility as the squad stays put in the Mile High City. The game will be the inaugural meeting between the programs. The Golden Bears are 1-0 on the season after a 19-0 rout of Frenso State on Feb. 7.