Blue Devils sweep opening weekend series

Playing in the first-ever Division-I women's lacrosse game in Texas, the No. 6 Blue Devils took care of business, defeating Stanford 16-9 Sunday afternoon at Southern Methodist's Westcott Field.

Despite the lopsided score, however, Duke (2-0) did not play flawlessly. Late in the first half, the Blue Devils found themselves trailing 5-4. With an early season upset looming, the young Duke squad battled back against the Cardinal (3-1), scoring six unanswered goals and regaining a lead it would keep for the remainder of the contest.

"We have a relatively young team this year," senior Allie Johnson said. "Toward the end of the first half we really started playing, especially once we got the jitters out. The season is a work in progress because we have some kinks to work out. But we came out there ready to play."

In a team comprised largely of freshmen, it was the upperclassmen that ultimately sparked the Blue Devil comeback. The junior tandem of Carolyn Davis and Megan Del Monte provided much of Duke's offense, with each netting three goals. The match against Stanford marked a breakout day for Del Monte, who scored her first goal of the season and also added two assists.

After coming off the bench last year, the attacker is taking advantage of the increased minutes and expanded role for the Blue Devils.

"I'm excited for Megan," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "She's been patiently waiting behind some excellent players, but she's worked hard. Her experience has been beneficial and has translated to a more prominent role."

After suffering a torn ACL last season, Davis rebounded, thanks in part to a change in position from midfielder to low attack. The midfielder added three assists to her goal count, good enough to lead the team in points scored.

"Carolyn has been a fixture on the field this season," Kimel said. "Her injury was devastating, and no one wants to see anyone get hurt like that. She has been able to pick up where she left off, and she's in a position where she can help the team so much."

Davis was the leading scorer for the second-straight game after leading the Blue Devils to victory against No. 16 Denver (0-2) Friday night at Koskinen Stadium. The junior, who registered five goals and one assist, had been cleared to return less than two weeks before she stepped back on the field.

The freshmen quartet of Sarah Bullard, Emma Hamm, Christie Kaestner and Morgan Miller bolstered the Blue Devils' 16-11 win over the Pioneers. Duke was down early to begin the half largely due to three yellow cards given out in the game. Before Denver ran away with the game, however, the freshmen answered back offensively and combined for the first four Duke goals.

With two wins now under their belt, the Blue Devils can use their first road experience this upcoming weekend when they travel to Virginia to take on No. 20 Richmond and William & Mary.


Share and discuss “Blue Devils sweep opening weekend series” on social media.