The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke women's lacrosse downs Towson in 2015-opening scrimmage

Senior Taylor Trimble put up three goals in Saturday's scrimmage against Towson.
Senior Taylor Trimble put up three goals in Saturday's scrimmage against Towson.

Everything was real, except the pinnie uniforms and the meaning of the game.

The Blue Devils defeated Towson 16-8 at Koskinen Stadium in a Saturday scrimmage that will not count for the standings but will certainly give Duke confidence heading into the regular season. The Blue Devils got out to a 4-1 lead, led 9-4 by the break and never looked back.

"Overall, big picture, today is what I wanted it to be,” Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “I was really pleased that we were able to play as many people as we were able to play and stay consistent.”

Two-sport athlete and senior leader Katie Trees put Duke up 1-0 just 38 seconds into the game, one of Duke’s four position shot goals on six attempts. Classmate Taylor Trimble put Duke up 2-1 with one of her three goals, and partner-in-crime Kerrin Maurer followed with a rocket of her own.

Still, Towson kept it close with back-to-back goals later in the half to make the score 6-4. In response, Duke featured a 1-2-3 punch of passing that resulted in a second Trees goal.

“Everyone makes fun of me because they say, ‘There’s not a shot I don’t like,’” Trees said. “I just went in with a mentality, ‘Just go to goal if I have it.’”

Trees—also a member of the Blue Devil soccer team—scored a team-high four goals during the contest. The San Diego native has been crippled by numerous injuries at Duke but looked ready to go for her eighth and final season as a Blue Devil athlete Saturday.

“I’ve never coached a kid like her,” Kimel said. “When we need a spark, she gives it to us, because she’s willing to put that extra effort in. She’s just got that toughness.”

After erasing a brief scare with a pair of goals, senior Chelsea Landon leaped and scored Duke’s second goal in 27 seconds, but fell down, stayed down for a few seconds, and limped up. The Norwell, Mass., native remained in the game.

With no goals in the first nine minutes of the second half, senior Brigid Smith cut into the 8-meter arc, took a pass from behind the goal and ripped the ball off the turf and into the back left netting of the goal.

A minute later, the Tigers struck back. Towson’s Andi Raymond put one past Duke; Erika Cavallo followed four minutes later with a goal from a similar spot on the turf.

Ultimately, with side-armed slingshot and near-sided bullets, Duke stretched its lead throughout the second half, rounding its offense into mid-season form.

“I think offensively, [it was a] pretty high conversion percentage in terms of our possessions, “ Kimel said. “[I] think we scored close to 50 percent of our possessions, which is great.”

Saving their best for last, the Blue Devils featured two clears with less than a minute left, going from their own eight-meter arc to the Towson side of the field, and Trimble sent a rocket between the pipes for a 15-8 lead. Duke’s Emma Lazaroff followed 15 seconds later with a goal that sealed the 16-8 exhibition victory.

Defense proved decisive in the contest. Duke held Towson to 1-of-6 on free-position shots and led Towson 6-2 in saves in each of the two halves. Duke also went 12-for-15 on clears compared to Towson’s 7-for-12 effort.

“Defensively, I thought we played really tough,” Kimel said. “Our defense was really, really scrappy, and I thought we came up with the loose balls. I’d like to see us do a better job on the draw.”

Saturday's tilt marked the first in-game use of the new Kennedy Tower, which will service Koskinen Stadium and the Williams Track complex. Namesake Chris Kennedy—a longtime administrator in the Duke athletics department—was in attendance.

Duke has long prepared for its first game of the season, which comes Saturday at Elon. Now, the Blue Devils have some momentum going into it.


Share and discuss “Duke women's lacrosse downs Towson in 2015-opening scrimmage” on social media.