Blue Devil Kelsey Duryea matched a career high with 15 saves, but that would not be enough to slow down the relentless Maryland offense as the Terrapins kept their undefeated record and ended Duke’s season.
Outshooting the Blue Devils 34-18 for the game, top-seeded Maryland (21-0) downed Duke 14-9 in College Park, Md. Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
“Maryland being Maryland, you give them too many opportunities and they’re going to capitalize,” Blue Devil head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “Even if they misfed the ball, they scooped it up quick and put it right back on the cage.”
The Terrapins entered the contest boasting the nation’s third-best scoring offense. When the teams met earlier this season, Maryland defeated Duke 15-6 Feb. 24.
Maryland scored the first two goals of the game, but the Blue Devils (14-6) answered back to keep the game within one through 10 minutes of play.
To keep the Terrapin offense in check, Duke took a deliberate approach to its offensive sets and kept the ball out of Maryland’s possession as much as possible early. Due to their efficient shooting effort, the Blue Devils kept the game close.
“Once we released the girls to go to goal, we were able to score pretty quickly—or at least get a good shot off quickly so maybe we didn’t score every time, but we got the looks we wanted,” Kimel said.
Despite its effectiveness attacking the cage, Duke struggled to keep possession, giving the dangerous Terrapin offense more opportunities.
“The thing that hurt us was our turnovers,” Kimel said. “Last weekend we did an exceptional job of taking care of the ball and that’s something we pride ourselves in. Today, if you look at our clearing, I think we were 9-for-13.”
Duke also finished the game with nine turnovers. Maryland, on the other hand, recorded just five turnovers and cleared successfully on each of its 10 opportunities.
With two 50-goal scorers on the squad—seniors Katie Schwarzmann and Alex Aust—the Terrapins took advantage of their opportunities.
“We did an awesome job limiting Schwarzmann today, but then we gave up five goals to Alex Aust,” Kimel said. “They have a lot of weapons.”
Aust, who ranks second in the nation in points, also notched two assists. Redshirt sophomore Brooke Griffin added three goals on six shots and an assist for Maryland.
Duke’s Duryea, who made her collegiate debut in College Park less than three months ago, opened the game by saving nine of the first 14 shots she faced.
“[The Terrapins] do a great job behind the crease and feeding in,” Duryea said. “This week in practice, we definitely looked at their sets and tried to simulate them.”
The freshman, who entered the game with the nation’s fourth-best save percentage, could not keep up with the Terrapins’ relentless attack for the whole game however, allowing nine more goals the rest of the way.
Although Duke managed to stay within four goals at the half, Maryland put the Blue Devils away at the start of the second half, launching a 6-1 run that left Duke trailing 14-5.
Despite the efforts of juniors Molly Quirke and Maddy Morrissey, who each notched three goals in the game, the Blue Devils’ 4-0 run to close out the game proved too little to salvage the contest.
“Maryland plays a great, scrambled game, and if you allow too much of that , you can dig yourself into a hole really quickly,” Kimel said. “We did too much of that.”