For the women’s soccer team, the Spring semester is usually a time for training, announcing the incoming freshman class and a few exhibition matches.
But this year, the schedule also included one of the biggest games of the year—an intramural basketball game pitting the team’s most senior players against some of its underclassmen.
Playing a regular season game in the women’s division of Duke’s intramural league, Shooters 3, featuring primarily seniors and redshirt juniors, defeated All Gold Everything 31-14 in Wilson Recreation Center Sunday night. Even soccer team head coach Robbie Church watched from the sidelines in the first half.
“We have been looking forward to this game,” Shooters 3 captain Libby Jandl, a senior, said. “It was exciting to play our teammates and you could tell that we’re all on the same team—really competitive against each other…. It was just a great fun game.”
From tip-off, the two teams were in each others’ faces, with stingy defense that tested the referees’ limits on foul calls.
“You kind of just let them play,” referee Ro Yadama said. “You know that they know each other. They’re going to get a little chippy. Because if you start calling every nit-picky foul, every person’s going to foul out, so you just let it go.”
The physical play, however, proved costly for All Gold Everything. With just five healthy players to start the contest, All Gold Everything’s players had no rest. An injury to sophomore Anastasia Hunt early in the game further tested All Gold Everything.
“[They] had no subs,” Yadama said. “They got tired. They got beaten up a little bit. Ana took one to the face. After a little bit they couldn’t handle it.”
Shooters 3, on the other hand, benefited from a two-person bench and received assistance from the help of a fellow varsity athlete.
“Alex Murphy’s our basketball coach, and he’s tried to give us a little bit of advice, but I think we could use some more,” Jandl said.
Murphy, a 6-foot-8 wingman for the men’s basketball team, helped Shooters 3’s players work on their fundamentals and provided shooting tips, Jandl said. She added that he also taught them the basics of the pick-and-roll to implement in their offense.
Murphy’s contributions showed as Shooters 3 jumped out to an early double-digit lead, paced by former high school basketball standout and redshirt junior Callie Simpkins.
“The girl’s out there like Chris Paul, throwing behind the backs, with the head fakes,” Yadama said. “She’s out there driving the paint, taking contact, at one point [had a] behind-the-back whipped out of nowhere.”
In contrast, All Gold Everything struggled to get their offense going, failing to reach double digits by halftime.
“Just some of their shots weren’t dropping,” Yadama said. “They went like 0-25 on threes.”
Although All Gold Everything struggled with shooting in the beginning, players from both teams made sure to talk trash to the less accurate shooters.
All Gold Everything players egged on redshirt junior Kim DeCesare every time she touched the ball on the perimeter, Yadama said.
“After Kim scored her first, I think it was [junior All Gold Everything guard Natasha Anasi] that said, ‘that was the ugliest shot I’ve ever seen,’” Yadama said, adding, “no one expected her to make it. Every time Kim got it, it was just ‘Shoot it!’”
Despite a late run, the younger All Gold Everything squad never cut the deficit to single digits, dropping to 0-3 on the year.
Shooters 3 improved to 3-0 and has a share of first place in the league with four games left on the slate.
“We’re on the road to the championship,” Simpkins said. “We’re going to Cameron. Come at us in March. We’ll be in Cameron.”