Tewaaraton Trophy nominee Katie Chrest certainly played like the player of the year Saturday.
The junior netted seven goals against Loyola, lifting No. 2 Duke (11-3) to a 14-10 win over the visiting Greyhounds (3-8).
Chrest’s performance broke the school record of six goals, which until Saturday was shared by 2004 graduate Meghan Walters and Tricia Martin, who accomplished the feat three times between 1998 and 2000.
Chrest netted four of Duke’s five goals in the first half as the Blue Devils and Greyhounds traded scores over the first 27 minutes. Loyola’s Bridget Zingler and Maura Kenny finally snapped the see-saw battle with back-to-back goals that put the Greyhounds up 6-5 at the halftime break.
But the Blue Devils opened the second period with a six-goal run in less than 10 minutes. After quick scores from Michelle Menser and Katie Laschinger, Sanford netted two goals followed by back-to-back goals from Chrest.
“Going into halftime our captains, especially Stefanie Sparks, said stuff that got the team ready to go out and play our game,” Sanford said. “Once we got that energy going in the second half, I knew we were going to win.”
After the Blue Devils’ opening run, both teams remained scoreless for the next six minutes, the longest lull in scoring since a 4-3 standstill in the first half.
The Duke offense, led by Sanford and Chrest, provided an answer to each of Loyola’s comeback attempts. The Greyhounds finally broke through the Blue Devils’ defense with scores by Kate McHarg and freshman Emily Lawrence at 14:54 and 7:36 remaining, respectively. But with the help of sophomore Katie Waagbo, Sanford and Chrest answered again with a 3-0 run that put Duke ahead 14-8 with under four minutes left to play.
Loyola’s Sydney Greene, who netted two goals in the first half to keep the Greyhounds in the game, was able to add one more to her tally before time ran out.
Blue Devil goalie Megan Huether saved 11-of-23 Greyhound shot attempts, 12 of which were taken in the second half. Loyola’s senior goalie Kim Lawton registered 20 saves but had to contend with a Duke offense that took 48 shots.
“Huether had several interceptions off their key players,” Sanford said. “She’s one of the best goalies playing college lacrosse, and she has brilliant saves that build a lot of energy, and everyone gets excited.”
Despite Loyola’s 3-8 record, the Blue Devils were facing a team they had never beaten.
“We were prepared for it to be a battle,” attacker Rachel Sanford said. “Everybody came in with the will to win.”
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