The Blue Devils have struggled against ranked opponents since a victory against then-No. 11 Northwestern a week into the season, and that trend continued Saturday evening.
With a steady drizzle falling at Koskinen Stadium, No. 20 Duke lost 12-8 to No. 9 Virginia, the fourth straight time it has come up short against a top-25 team. The Cavaliers scored five straight unassisted goals in the first half to take the lead for good and dominated play, outshooting the Blue Devils 37-22, though junior goalkeeper Jamie Lockwood kept Duke close with 13 saves in her first start of the season.
"We have a lot of talent. I don't think we're doing easy stuff really well in terms of executing our offense," head coach Kerstin Kimel told GoDuke.com. "It warrants us as a staff taking a good look at what we're doing and make adjustments moving into the next week."
Although the Blue Devils (6-4, 1-2 in the ACC) got out to a strong start with the first two goals of the day, Virginia seized control with its five-goal flurry in a span of less than 10 minutes.
Junior Olivia Jenner and senior Grace Fallon each scored in the final minutes of the period to pull Duke within one at halftime, but the Cavaliers (7-2, 3-1) regained their advantage with three scores in the first six minutes of the second half. Duke did not come closer than three goals the rest of the way.
""We're not doing a great job executing offensively," Kimel said. "As a coaching staff, we have to go back to the drawing board and kind of look at not only what we're doing, but who we have in there and maybe make some adjustments moving forward into Syracuse."
Jenner was the only Blue Devil to score more than one goal, while Duke's defense allowed four goals to Avery Shoemaker and hat tricks to Maggie Jackson and Sammy Mueller. Virginia had less than half as many turnovers as the Blue Devils, putting a lot of pressure on Lockwood with 25 shots on goal.
"I could not be prouder of Jamie. Virginia is a really powerful offense and I think that she did an unbelievable job," Kimel said. "We got in trouble in the second half when we fouled...but by and large, Jamie was a huge bright spot for today. I was so proud. I knew she'd step up for us."
After playing nine of its first 10 games at home, Duke only has one regular-season game left at Koskinen Stadium, with four road trips looming in the next month, beginning with a game at Syracuse next Saturday. The Blue Devils will also return home to host the ACC tournament at the end of April.
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