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Duke storms back to beat Hoyas

After victories over then-No. 5 Princeton and No. 16 Vanderbilt last week, Duke capped off its week with a win over Georgetown Sunday in Washington, D.C.

The No. 4 Blue Devils (7-1) took down the No. 10 Hoyas (3-2) with a 12-11 victory to put the finishing touches on a perfect break.

"Even though we were in Durham, we had a very good spring break," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "To be able to play three ranked teams in seven days and win all three is a huge accomplishment for our team.. Georgetown's a great team and I think it was a great win for us."

Although Duke jumped out to an early 3-2 lead, the Hoyas battled back to knot the score at four before scoring three straight goals en route to an 8-5 halftime lead.

The Blue Devils did not panic, instead using halftime to find their groove and improve on their nine first-half turnovers.

"Halftime was good for us to just kind of catch our breath and realize we just weren't taking good care of the ball at all," Kimel said. "We can't expect our defense to play a good series and then turn the ball over and expect them to play again and again. It felt like we really got ourselves together at halftime and in the second we really played more our game."

Duke emerged strong from the locker room to start the second half off with four straight goals to regain the lead 9-8. Senior attacker Kristen Waagbo sparked the offensive run with the two goals and an important assist to fellow attacker Caroline Cryer's go-ahead goal.

The Hoyas responded with two straight goals before Cryer once again found the back of the net with a shot in traffic to knot the score at 10.

Defensively, Duke held Georgetown to six shots in the second half-an improvement from the Hoyas' 14 in the first period.

One of these six shots came with 5:30 left, when goalkeeper Kim Imbesi stopped Georgetown's Coco Stanwick right in front of the net.

"They had a really powerful offense, and I think our defense did such a good job limiting their shots," Waagbo said. "Kim really came up so huge with that save at the end and got us all fired up."

The Duke offense funneled the defensive momentum into a go-ahead goal by Waagbo, who ended the game with a hat trick and two assists.

"It was really exciting-everyone keeps making fun of me because I guess I did a twirl or something," Waagbo said of scoring the 11-10 go-ahead shot. "We showed a lot of character and a lot of poise the way we made that comeback."

Midfielder Rachel Sanford added another goal, which proved to be vital as the Hoyas notched a desperation score with 16 seconds left. The Blue Devils, however, were able to hold on to secure the final draw control and ultimately the game.

"It was just a really well-fought game on both ends," Waagbo said. "That's a really good win for us and it gives us a lot of momentum going into the next stretch of our season."

Duke plays next when it returns to its ACC schedule on Friday with a game against Virginia Tech at home at 7 p.m.

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