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Blue Devils rout Irish, travel to No. 1 NU next

Coming off a thrilling 19-18 triple overtime win against Virginia last weekend, the Blue Devils (10-1) carried their momentum into Wednesday's matchup with No. 10 Notre Dame for a 20-10 victory.

No. 4 Duke jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead against the Fighting Irish (9-3) off a goal from Caroline Cryer less than a minute into play.

Notre Dame countered with a goal of its own at the 27-minute mark to tie the score. Similar to their play in the past few games, the Blue Devils started off slowly, dropping two more goals to the Fighting Irish to fall behind, 3-1.

This two goal deficit was all Duke needed to inspire a comeback, however, going on a 9-0 run over the next 18:09. The scoring spurt was highlighted by goals from six different Blue Devils, including three from sophomore Carolyn Davis and two from senior Kristen Waagbo.

"We were just able to have possession of the ball," Waagbo said of the turnaround. "We got the draw controls and were able to push the tempo of the game like we wanted to."

The Fighting Irish managed to sneak in one more goal before the end of the period to end Duke's run. But the Blue Devils would go into halftime with the momentum, as Cryer netted a score of her own on an assist from Leigh Jester, putting Duke up, 11-4, at the break.

After their strong showing in the first half, the Blue Devils opened the second period with an unanswered three-goal blitz to solidify a lead that Notre Dame could never overcome.

"We did a great job on the draw," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "We scored nicely in transition, and we scored really nicely on our settled offense as well. The ball was moving really well to a lot of different people."

Eventually the Fighting Irish, down 16-6, responded with a 3-0 run to cut the Duke lead to seven. Yet this small hiccup was not serious for the Blue Devil squad, who answered in kind with a run of its own. The scoring barrage was capped off by two goals from Cryer and one each from Davis and Waagbo to bring Duke to its final tally of 20.

The Blue Devils travel to Evanston, Ill. Saturday to face No. 1 Northwestern, an opponent that defeated Duke last May in the NCAA semifinals, 11-10 in overtime. Although the Blue Devils topped the Wildcats, 16-10, in last year's regular season, that Duke squad could not overcome the eventual national champions in the final four contest.

"We're all ready for a really great game," Kimel said. "To play a game Thursday and turn around and play Saturday is really tough especially against teams of this caliber."


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