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Dominant defense, diverse offense lead Duke women's lacrosse to blowout win

Fifteen different Blue Devils registered a point Saturday against George Washington
Fifteen different Blue Devils registered a point Saturday against George Washington

The Blue Devils washed George Washington off the field Saturday afternoon.  

Coming off a tough road loss to then-No. 15 Navy, No. 19 Duke was hungry to get back in the win column. In its first matchup in program history with the Colonials, it was able to do just that, riding a strong offensive and defensive showing to a 21-6 victory. 

“A big goal for us today was to come out and take a step forward from last week,” head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “It’s the first week we've had this season where we had a whole week to just practice and focus on us and I felt like a lot of our hard work on the practice field showed out here today. [I’m] really proud and excited for the girls and the teamwork we exhibited out on the field today.” 

After giving George Washington (0-3) an early 2-1 lead, the Blue Devils kicked it into another gear and went on a quick 4-0 run before the Colonials were able to find the net again. But Duke’s potent offense did not settle with its three-point lead and went on a 7-1 run to end the half up 12-4.  

The second half was more of the same from the Blue Devils: an electric offense and a stingy defense. By the end of the second half, Duke (3-2) had only allowed two more goals while tacking on nine scores of its own, giving the team its fourth 20-plus goal performance of the season. 

Most impressive was the diversity in the box score. In a game in which the Blue Devils tallied 21 goals and 12 assists, no one player accounted for more than six points. A mind-boggling 15 different Blue Devils tallied a point, 13 of them scoring at least one goal.  

“It’s a testament to our depth,” Kimel said. “We have a lot of really good depth, particularly in the midfield this year and off of the bench offensively.... And again I'm proud of them because I think they’re playing really selflessly, they’re giving the ball up, they’re feeding each other.”  

In a game with so many scorers, it may be hard for one individual to stand out. But sophomore midfielder Anna Callahan did just that. Callahan is a leader on Duke’s offense but usually facilitates rather than scores. Against the Colonials, however, she was on the attack from the beginning, and ended the day with her first career hat trick.  

“I’m so proud of [Callahan] because she’s the ultimate kind of team player out there,” Kimel said. “She knows her role. She earned her way on the field because she’s really, really good at communicating and really good at helping to run our offense."

There’s a lot of good to take from the Blue Devils’ hosing of the Colonials, but Duke can’t allow itself to get caught up in the win. The team travels to to William & Mary later this week, followed up by another quick road trip to No. 2 Notre Dame for its first conference matchup of the season. After two close losses to ranked opponents already, the Blue Devils are hungry to take down a fellow ranked foe and try to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the country. 


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