Blue Devils rack up 2 road wins to remain perfect

Duke rolled through Virginia this weekend, routing No. 18 Richmond and William & Mary to open its season 4-0.

On Friday, the No. 3 Blue Devils faced the Spiders (1-2) on a cold and rainy afternoon, but the weather did not stop Duke from turning up the heat en route to a 16-4 win.

Junior Carolyn Davis scored the first of her three goals 40 seconds into the contest, but Richmond's Lexie Marrocco responded just more than one minute later to tie the score. Davis answered with two more of her own, to put the Blue Devils up, 3-1. After one more Spider score, Duke took command, going on a five-goal run right up until the final seconds of the first half to go up, 8-2.

"I was surprised they didn't come out a little stronger," Duke freshman Emma Hamm said. "We were able to put them away and keep them to just two goals in the first half, which was great."

Duke's defense was equally strong, forcing 15 turnovers over the course of the game. Junior goalkeeper Kim Imbesi also recorded 10 saves and five ground balls, anchoring the team's defensive effort.

"We did a good job defensively against them," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "They tried to slow the ball down, which was a mistake against us. They pulled out and tried to set up, and I felt like we handled that strategy of theirs pretty well."

The second period opened with a spurt of energy from the Spiders, as Richmond scored two goals in the first two minutes to bring the game within four. But it wasn't nearly enough as the Blue Devils went on an eight-goal barrage, with freshman midfielder Sarah Bullard notching three scores and Carolyn Davis contributing three assists, en route to the 16-4 blowout.

"In halftime, [Kimel] gave us the stat that we were losing to them in ground balls and not to let it happen in the second half," Hamm said. "We came out in the second half and managed to dominate them."

Next up was William & Mary (2-1) Sunday afternoon, and Duke came out looking a bit sluggish in the first half, leading the Tribe 7-5 after 30 minutes. In the second period, however, the Blue Devils worked out the kinks in their game for a commanding 18-8 win.

The Blue Devils outshot the Tribe 25-11 in the second frame, compared to being bested 18-14 in the first by the home team. On defense, Duke forced 11 turnovers in the second half compared to just six in the first.

The Blue Devils scored a little over a minute into the period, allowed one William & Mary goal and then shut the door on the Tribe with a crushing eight-goal unanswered run fueled by scores and assists from seven different Duke players, including two apiece from Kaestner and Adam, to put the Blue Devils on top, 16-6.

"We had a whole host of kids score for us, and that's exactly what you want," Kimel said. "Even more played who didn't score and don't necessarily show up in the stats, but that's still great for us."

On Saturday in Durham, the Blue Devils take on No. 6 Maryland in their first ACC matchup of the season. Last season, the Terrapins edged Duke, 19-18.


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