No. 25 Duke women's lacrosse bounces back in 20-point rout of Winthrop

Senior attacker Katie DeSimone works against her defender in Saturday's hard-fought loss to Johns Hopkins.
Senior attacker Katie DeSimone works against her defender in Saturday's hard-fought loss to Johns Hopkins.

No. 25 Duke took no prisoners Sunday afternoon in its 25-5 routing of Winthrop. Twelve different Blue Devils scored in the lopsided matchup, six of them for the first time in their Duke career. 

Fifty-seven seconds into play, senior midfielder Katie Keller drove from the top of the twelve-meter fan right through the Eagles' defense for a solo goal. The floodgates were open. 

The Blue Devils finished the first quarter up 10-3 with five goals from senior Katie DeSimone, an attacker on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List who leads the country in total goals thus far. Freshman midfielder and FOGO Ellie White was a beast on the circle with seven draw controls in the first frame alone. The ball was in a Blue Devil stick for nearly the entire game and Duke (2-2) never took its foot off the gas. It wore down Winthrop's defense with long scoring runs, one of which spanned 10 goals, and it showcased its depth off the bench with four freshman getting in on the action as well. Rookie midfielder Caitlin Barrett scored her first career goal, then tacked on three more to finish a perfect day with four scores on four shots. The Blue Devils led 17-4 coming out of halftime, and held the Eagles (0-2) to just one more in the final 30 minutes while the home team piled on eight to finish the afternoon with an impressive 17 different point scorers. 

“We put some restraints on the guys in the second half..." head coach Kerstin Kimel said after the game. "They were really disciplined and worked really hard to create those opportunities so that they could score the way we wanted them to score." 

And score they did. With just under six minutes left in the first quarter, DeSimone went to work on the right side of the crease, looking to add on to her hat trick. As she rolled around towards the cage, she slung a backhand shot over her defender’s shoulder and past Winthrop goalie Emma Calhoun for goal number four of her first-half sock trick. Junior attacker Carly Bernstein, graduate attacker Caroline DeBellis, Keller and DeSimone all emerged from the halftime break with their sweatpants and sweatshirts on, ready to cheer on their teammates after putting in a big first-half shift and giving Duke (2-2) a 13-goal advantage after 30 minutes. 

In addition to Barrett, redshirt sophomore Tess Gagliano, redshirt sophomore Ellie Lazzaretto, freshman Reese Woodworth and redshirt freshmen Kaylie Mackiewicz and Ava Biancardi also had the first goals of their Duke careers. 

Mackiewicz’s first score came off a dish from graduate midfielder Olivia Carner. The high school teammates reunited for a Northport connection when Carner fed her during a free position attempt instead of taking it herself. Mackiewicz rolled in from the end line to the left side of the cage, and Carner found her for a point-blank goal on the doorstep. 

“For all these girls having their first goal of their career, it really is something special. I remember being a freshman and being in that situation, and you look up to so many of the older girls and seeing that they support you and the love that we have for one another is  really important,” Carner said. 

With six minutes left to play in the game, Carner found herself with another free position attempt. She passed it out again, this time to Gagliano at the top of the eight-meter arc, who was eager to score after missing all of last season. Gagliano was fouled and converted the free position shot, erupting the Blue Devil bench as her teammates cheered for her. Biancardi’s unassisted rocket from the men’s crease for her first goal elicited a similar response, celebrated by both her fellow attack and Duke’s defense who ran across the field to embrace her as well. 

The Blue Devils put 31 of their 38 shots on frame and were clinical with their free position chances, converting 8-of-10, an encouraging stat after last season when they finished at only 46% on free position opportunities. 

They’ll look to build on this offensive momentum as they prepare to open ACC play on Saturday against Clemson, a revenge game after a disappointing one-goal loss to the Tigers last season. 

“No matter who we're playing, if we play our game, we'll be successful,” Carner said. 


Share and discuss “No. 25 Duke women's lacrosse bounces back in 20-point rout of Winthrop” on social media.