No. 6 Duke (5-1) scored the first eight goals of the game, but needed a late push to outlast Vanderbilt 15-12 Saturday at Koskinen Stadium.
After the Blue Devils built the early advantage, the Commodores (1-5) slowly chipped away and tied it up at 10. The teams traded goals and after a Vanderbilt goal knotted it at 12, Duke scored the final three goals of the contest to seal the deal.
“I was really pleased with how we started the game,” head coach Kerstin Kimel said in a press release. “Obviously we gave up a couple of runs and we needed to do a better job of sticking with our game plan. But I am grateful that we were in a tight game.”
Kerrin Maurer led Duke with four goals, matching a career high. The sophomore also tallied two assists. Maurer was instrumental to the team’s final push, scoring the Blue Devils’ penultimate goal and assisting the final one.
The Blue Devils went 5-for-5 on free-position shots, with Maurer and junior Maddy Morrissey both connecting on both of their free chances. Duke outshot the Commodores 29-24 and won the draw control battle 15-14.
Freshman Kelsey Duryea received the first start of her career for Duke in goal, playing all 60 minutes and recording 12 saves.
The Blue Devils return to action Saturday against No. 10 Georgetown, and Kimel noted the back-and-forth game will help Duke going forward.
“We haven’t been in a tight game yet and we are going to be heading into some tough games coming up in the next couple of weeks,” she said.